Eastern shriketit

Falcunculus frontatus

SUBFAMILY

Pachycephalinae

TAXONOMY

Lanius frontatus Latham, 1801, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Crested shrike-tit; French: Falconelle a casque; German: Meisendickkopf; Spanish: Carbonero Verdugo Crestado.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

6.3-7.5 in (16-19 cm); 0.05-0.07 lb (24-32 g). A short-billed bird with distinctive black crest, white head, and black stripe from eye to shoulder.

DISTRIBUTION

East and southeast Australia.

HABITAT

Eucalypt forest and woodland, occasionally other vegetation types.

BEHAVIOR

Sedentary, territorial, usually seen in small family groups. Generally quiet, unobtrusive, but often produces a great deal of noise when foraging.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Strictly arboreal. Forages for insects and spiders among outer foliage by gleaning and under loose bark by prising it away with bill.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds August-January; one brood per year. Female does most nest construction and incubation; both adults care for young. Helpers at the nest have been reported. Nest is a deep cup or goblet of finely shredded bark bound with spider web and placed in an upright, usually three-pronged fork, 33-100 ft (10-30 m) above ground. The two to three spotted eggs take 16-19 days to hatch; nesting period 15-17 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened, but potentially vulnerable to habitat loss.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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