Nature conservation

Threatened species

Pied Honeyeater - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Certhionyx variegatus
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 09 Jun 2022


The male Pied Honeyeater is a distinctive small, black and white honeyeater with white wing-bar, rump and tail-panels, abdomen and a bluish-grey wattle below the eye. The female is greyish-brown with a white abdomen, with a strong pattern of pale edging to feathers on the wing. The bill is long and curved and males possess a bare eye patch that is pale blue in colour. Females and young males have a less conspicuous bare eye patch than mature males.


Widespread throughout acacia, mallee and spinifex scrubs of arid and semi-arid Australia. Occasionally occurs further east, on the slopes and plains and the Hunter Valley, typically during periods of drought.

Habitat and ecology

  • Inhabits wattle shrub, primarily Mulga (Acacia aneura), mallee, spinifex and eucalypt woodlands, usually when shrubs are flowering; feeds on nectar, predominantly from various species of emu-bushes (Eremophila spp.); also from mistletoes and various other shrubs (e.g. Grevillea spp.); also eats saltbush fruit, berries, seed, flowers and insects.
  • Highly nomadic, following the erratic flowering of shrubs; can be locally common at times.
  • Constructs a relatively large cup-shaped nest, usually robust, although occasionally loose, constructed of grasses and fine twigs, bound with spider webs, in the fork of a shrub or tree up to 5 m above the ground.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Plains Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthMoonie-Barwon Interfluve Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthNarrandool Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthNorthern Outwash Known None
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Known None
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Outwash Known None
Broken Hill ComplexMootwingee Downs Known None
Broken Hill ComplexScopes Range Predicted None
Channel CountryBulloo Known None
Channel CountryBulloo Dunefields Known None
Channel CountryCentral Depression Known None
Channel CountryCore Ranges Known None
Channel CountrySturt Stony Desert Known None
Cobar PeneplainBarnato Downs Known None
Cobar PeneplainBoorindal Plains Known None
Cobar PeneplainCanbelego Downs Known None
Cobar PeneplainLachlan Plains Known None
Cobar PeneplainNymagee Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsBogan-Macquarie Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsCastlereagh-Barwon Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsCulgoa-Bokhara Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsGreat Darling Anabranch Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsLouth Plains Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsMenindee Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsPooncarie-Darling Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsWarrambool-Moonie Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsWilcannia Plains Predicted None
Mulga LandsCuttaburra-Paroo Known None
Mulga LandsKerribree Basin Known None
Mulga LandsNebine Plains Known None
Mulga LandsParoo Overflow Known None
Mulga LandsParoo-Darling Sands Known None
Mulga LandsUrisino Sandplains Known None
Mulga LandsWarrego Plains Known None
Mulga LandsWarrego Sands Known None
Mulga LandsWest Warrego Known None
Mulga LandsWhite Cliffs Plateau Known None
Murray Darling DepressionDarling Depression Known None
Murray Darling DepressionSouth Olary Plain Known None
NSW South Western SlopesInland Slopes Known None
NSW South Western SlopesLower Slopes Known None
Other StateQLD Known None
Other StateSA Known None
Other StateVIC Known None
RiverinaLachlan Known None
RiverinaMurray Fans Known None
RiverinaMurray Scroll Belt Known None
RiverinaMurrumbidgee Known None
RiverinaRobinvale Plains Known None
Simpson Strzelecki DunefieldsStrzelecki Desert Known None
South Eastern HighlandsOrange Known None
Sydney BasinKerrabee Known None