The White-gaped HoneyeaterStomiopera unicolor is common around Broome, but you find them mostly alone and not with others of the same species. They are generally a vocal species, which aids in locating them, because they are not the brightest of the Honeyeater species. White-gaped Honeyeaters are one of the larger of the Honeyeater species and mostly dull like the Dusky Honeyeater, but a larger species with a significant white patch near the bill. Dusky Honeyeaters are only observed close to the Western Australia/Northern Territory border to the north, so you won’t be observing them around Broome anyway!

The header photo shows the typical profile of a White-gaped Honeyeater that I have been observing on my early morning walks recently. The advantage of the cold, crisp early morning walks are the beautiful blue skies, no heat haze and a chance to wear socks! Admittedly some mornings have been damp, but that adds to the variety. By working out where the best flowering Hakeas are I can usually find some birds feeding in the early morning sun.

White-gaped Honeyeater in foliage

As you can see from the photographs above the “white gape” is not necessarily that obvious. The White-gaped Honeyeater appears to just be a dull Australian bird. Well, I eventually managed to capture some photographs of White-gaped Honeyeaters with their “white gape” a lot more obvious and I will now share them below.

White-gaped Honeyeater

As you can see above, if the White-gaped Honeyeater you observe, rather than just hear, is out in the open then you can clearly see the “white gape”. Otherwise, you might just think there is a noisy dull bird in the vegetation!

Written by Clare M
Clare and her husband, Grant, have lived permanently in Broome, Western Australia since 1999 after living in various outback locations around Western Australia and Darwin. She has lived in the Middle East and the United States and traveled extensively in Europe. She monitors Pied Oystercatchers breeding along a 23km stretch of Broome's coastline by bicycle and on foot. She chooses not to participate in social media, but rather wander off into the bush for peace and tranquility. Thankfully she can write posts in advance and get away from technology!