Eastern Spinebill

Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris

The Eastern Spinebill is the smallest honeyeater commonly seen darting from shrub to shrub in the suburbs. Often heard before seen, it has adapted well to gardens, particularly those with nectar-producing shrubs such as grevilleas, banksias and correas. It is an altitudinal migrant, common in the mountains over the summer and moving to the lowlands for winter.

Numbers in the suburbs are lowest in summer and highest in winter with a peak in June, but the annual pattern is not as extreme as for the other migratory honeyeaters as some birds remain in the suburbs over summer. The number of birds staying on for the summer has increased over the duration of the survey, as have overall numbers.

Breeding records show nesting occurs from late August to late September and dependent young are present from late October to late March. R=16. BR=31.