Significance to humans

In places, fantails are well known because they are common and active. Combined with their tame and confiding nature around humans, this has made them particular favorites among birdwatchers and the general public. In parts of New Guinea, the willie wagtail is thought to be the ghost of a paternal relative. A singing bird around a newly planted garden means that crops will flourish. Elsewhere, it has the reputation as a gossip; it is not persecuted, but important business is not discussed when the bird is present.

1. Northern fantail (Rhipidura rufiventris); 2. Yellow-bellied fantail (Rhipidura hypoxantha); 3. Dimorphic fantail (Rhipidura brachyrhyncha); 4. Gray fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa); 5. Rufous fantail (Rhipidura rufifrons); 6. White-throated fantail (Rhipidura albicollis); 7. Blue-headed fantail (Rhipidura cyaniceps); 8. Streaked fantail (Rhipidura spilodera); 9. Willie wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys); 10. Sooty thicket-fantail (Rhipidura threnothorax). (Illustration by Jacqueline Mahannah)

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