Garden Visitors: Yellow Throated Honey Eater

I usually have a lot of trouble trying to photograph the smaller birds that visit my garden. Of course when you have a large dog who has to be with you all the time that does not help. This morning though I had a big surprise. I got out of bed and headed to the back door to let Cindy out. There,  about a foot away from the door was this little guy sitting absolutely still. Well of course that meant I could not let Cindy out so I went to the toilet and when I  returned it was still there so I grabbed the camera. This bird sat still for so long I started to worry that something was wrong with it I didn’t want to open the door because of Cindy so I took my photos through the glass.

I often see these little birds in my garden and I thought that they were a species of finch but when I looked it up using my photos for reference I learned that it is a Yellow Throated Honeyeater, a fairly common native Tasmanian bird. Eventually after five minutes or more had passed I tapped on the glass and the bird seemed to come out of its trance and flew away. I wonder what it was so interested in? Was it admiring its own reflection in the glass? Had it come to thank me for planting bottlebrush and other bird attracting plants in the garden or perhaps to ask for some more dog hair? These birds are known for using animal hair in the nest-building process and when I brush Cindy outside I get a lot of loose hairs. She has probably supplied half the nests in Geeveston. Or perhaps the birds were having a human counting census like the bird counting census that is happening this week for National Bird Week.

I only had my standard 18-55 mm zoom lens on the camera but the photos came out quite well and I cropped them a bit afterwards.

Yellow Throated Honeyeater

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I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.


  1. Oh, the first picture turned out really great. A nice shot. Also a very cute bird. I am glad that the bird was ok and could fly away. I saw already a lot of ill birds, one that could only walk, one that probably fell out of the nest and so on. Also in Reinfeld there were eagles, and I guess they do also attack smaller birds, because I saw small birds that appeared to have problems with the wings and wondered how it could have happened. I am glad that was not the case for the cute Honeyeater.


    • Me too. I would not have been able to help him very much if there had been a problem so I guess he was just curious. I did brush Cindy in the garden the other day and left the dog hair laying on the ground instead of collecting it and putting it in the bin as I normally do. Later I saw a few birds had gathered and a couple flying away with dog hair in their beaks like people who had been to the sales and grabbed a bargain.

      Liked by 1 person

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