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Crow Honeyeater

Gymnomyza aubryana


This is a critically endangered, large honeyeater. About 39cm long, all black plumage, a large slightly down curved bill with yellow lower mandible and red wattles around and behind the eye. Legs are pale.


Found loosely scattered around the island of Grande Terre in New Caledonia. This is an endemic species found in humid forest. The greatest number seem to be in the Riviere Bleue area but following PN protocol the exact location has been modified.


Extremely rare and decreasing for the usual reasons of principally predation and habitat loss. Numbers are hard to survey but average estimates have put populations down to less than 250 birds with some as low as 50 birds. I saw this pair by sheer luck as I was looking for Kagu and they literally landed just above my head for a few seconds and then were gone!

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triggsturner a year ago

Thank you Rach. I think a lot of wildlife photography is about being in the right place at the right time. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had this encounter.

remkinloch a year ago

Congratulations on your SOTW. Being in the right place at the right time certainly paid off and has given this critically endangered bird some much needed attention. Well done!

triggsturner a year ago

Thank you so much rangers for voting this SOTW. I am very happy that these guys got some good exposure. Thank you also Brian, Lauren an Jim for your great and kind comments. I sincerely hope this species makes it.

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson a year ago

Bravo! I was hoping this spotting would get recognized. Sadly, extinction of a species can only happen once, and there are no second chances. Hoping these birds survive. Good job, Robert.

LaurenZarate a year ago

Congratulations Robert! It is so important to help awareness of endangered species. You got great shots of them!

Brian38 a year ago

Congrats Robert on a well deserved SOTW!

DanielePralong a year ago

Congratulations Robert, this very rare bird has earned you another Spotting of the Week! The quality of your notes and the critical status of this species won you the vote.

"Our Spotting of the Week brings you a rare and discreet glimpse of an elusive Critically Endangered bird native to New Caledonia. The Crow Honeyeater (Gymnomyza aubryana) is a very large (41 cm), crow-like honeyeater with orange facial wattles. The size of the remaining Crow Honeyeater population is difficult to assess, but is currently estimated at fewer than 250 mature individuals. The species seems to suffer from severe predation pressure by introduced rats, and urgent comprehensive management is required to ensure its survival.
As per our general rule regarding species classified as Critically Endangered the exact location of this spotting is not revealed".



triggsturner a year ago

Thank you so much for this nomination. I am pleased to spread an awareness of this species story.

AshleyT a year ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

triggsturner a year ago

Thank you Rach and Jim for your comments. It is always humbling to see a critically endangered species close up like this. For me there is always a nagging sense of responsibility. I know these guys are not flashy and brightly coloured and to a degree go largely unnoticed but thier plight is very real and in reality this species will be gone within a few of our generations. I put them on here to try and give some recognition for thier plight. So thank you again you guys for acknowledging that.

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson a year ago

I know the rare feeling when, after searching far and wide, one really comes across a true once-in-a-lifetime spotting. That had to make your day, Robert. Well done! Hope things get better for this honeyeater...does not look good.

remkinloch a year ago

An amazing looking bird. A shame their numbers and isolated population make their long term survival such a challenge. A fortuitous spotting and a great one to have in the collection

Spotted by

Nouvelle-Calédonie, Tromelin Island

Spotted on Aug 22, 2018
Submitted on Sep 22, 2018

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