Eastern bristlebird

Dasyornis brachypterus

SUBFAMILY

Acanthizinae

TAXONOMY

Turdus brachypterus Latham, 1801, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Two subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Bristle bird; French: Dasyorne brun; German: Braunkopf-Lackvogel; Spanish: Pájaro Cerdoso Común.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

8.5 in (22 cm); 1.5 oz (c. 42 g). A gray-brown bird with small wing and sturdy legs and feet.

DISTRIBUTION

Eastern coastal Australia, with two isolated subspecies.

HABITAT

Dense, coastal and montane scrub, especially with grass tussocks.

BEHAVIOR

Solitary, shy and cryptic, mostly hidden in dense vegetation. May cock or fan tail. Sedentary, weak flier. Song is loud "it-wood-weet-sip" and harsh, abrupt call "zeip".

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Gleans on ground, especially among leaf litter, taking insects and other arthropods, as well as seeds.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds August to December. Domed nest is made of grass and plant tendrils and placed in a clump of grass. Two eggs, white to pale brown with gray and brown spots. Rarely more than one young raised.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Northern subspecies is Critically Endangered, with only a few dozen individuals. Southern subspecies is Endangered, with a populations of about 1,500 adults. Although most populations occur in national parks, frequent fires may kill the bird and render its habitat unsuitable for many years. Conversely, habitat that has not been burnt for a long time becomes unsuitable

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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