The honeyeater was discovered at an altitude of 1,650 m (5,445 feet) above sea level, in the Foja Mountains of Western New Guinea.
This medium-sized, sooty-gray songbird has a short black bill, and each eye is surrounded by an orange-red patch of bare skin, below which hangs a pendant wattle. It is these features that distinguish it from the more widespread Common Smoky Honeyeater. In addition, the species is exceedingly quiet, rarely giving any vocalizations. The Wattled smoky honeyeater is a common and unwary inhabitant of the Foja uplands, and feeds mainly on small fruit.
Foja Mountains in Western New Guinea.
Discovered during Conservation International’s RAP expedition to the Foja Mountains in 2005.
In three field trips to the Foja Mountains, CI field teams have found the species to be common but inconspicuous, often feeding low in the vegetation at the edge of openings. There is no reason to think the wattled smoky honeyeater is in any way threatened, in spite of its very restricted range.
Bruce Beehler (Conservation International)