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A scarlet Honeyeater with bright red plumage feeds on the red flower of a grevillia in a backyard in Orbost.

Orbost man Andy Murray spotted these gorgeous Scarlet Honeyeaters enjoying a flowering Grevillea in a garden in the East Gippsland town recently – and he grabbed his camera to capture the moment.

Scarlet Honeyeaters are the smallest species of honeyeater. They are even smaller than a fairy-wren.

While not rare in East Gippsland, these stunning honeyeaters are not seen frequently.

Adult males like these pictured have a vivid scarlet red colouration on the face and breast.

Females and immature birds are brown with white underparts and a reddish wash on their chins.

A scarlet Honeyeater with bright red plumage feeds on the red flower of a grevillia in a backyard in Orbost.

This sighting is a great incentive to get into bird spotting – a popular activity that Birdlife Australia is celebrating.

Birdlife Australia says backyard bird spotting in Victoria skyrocketed during coronavirus (COVID-19) last year, when people in lockdown or staying close to home look for new ways to keep themselves entertained.

During this period, it ran a backyards citizen science project getting quadruple the number of its usual volunteers.

To get involved this year, go to the Birdlife Australia website.

Reviewed 03 May 2021

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