The Lewin’s Honeyeater (Meliphaga lewinii) is usually quite a dapper looking bird. But when this pair took it in turns to bathe, they got themselves looking uncharacteristically bedraggled. I guess nobody looks their best straight out of the bath!
The Lewin’s Honeyeater will eat nectar, and pick insects out of the bark of trees, but has a very sweet tooth and likes nothing more than fruit. Reportedly they favour bananas when they can get them.
Their call has been described as a “machine-gun rattle”.
This one dropped down to the bird-bath in preparation:
Their ablutions could only be described as “frenetic”:
The Lewin’s Honeyeater is common on East Coast Australia. In far north Queensland, they can be confused with the very similar but smaller Graceful Honeyeater and Yellow-spotted Honeyeater. But Lewin’s range extends from mid-north Queensland down to Melbourne. They favour wetter, forested locations, but they have adapted well to parks and gardens.
After their baths, they seemed in no rush to get their plumage back in order – taking time to dry off thoroughly. But for usually neat birds, as balls of wet fluff they looked quite funny!