Lichenostomus melanops cassidix
Helmeted honeyeaters are Victoria’s State bird and only endemic bird. They are critically endangered with less than 100 birds in the wild. Their distribution is restricted to two sites in Victoria; a 5km stretch of vegetation at Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve, which is 50km east of Melbourne, and at Bunyip State Park, 70km east-south-east of Melbourne.
The helmeted honeyeater is largely confined to dense riparian vegetation with high levels of rainfall. In the past, habitat destruction has been a major threat to these birds, with land being cleared for agriculture, grazing and burning. This fragmentation has encouraged bell miners, which cause the Helmeted Honeyeaters to spend large amounts of time defending their territory. Bush fires present extreme danger due to the small distribution of population.
WHAT THEY EAT
Invertebrates, lerps, manna, nectar and sap.
Helmeted honeyeaters breed from August through to January, usually laying 2 eggs but can lay up to 4, incubating them for around two weeks.