Southern whiteface

Aphelocephala leucopsis

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Fairly familiar to many people in drier farming areas. ♦

SUBFAMILY

Acanthizinae

TAXONOMY

Xerophila leucopsis Gould, 1841, Adelaide, South Australia. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Chestnut-bellied whiteface, white-faced titmouse, eastern whiteface, tomtit; French: Gérygone blanchâtre; German: Fahlrucken-Weisstirnchen; Spanish: Ratona Blanca.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4.5 in (11 cm); 0.4 oz (11 g). Gray-brown upperparts and whitish underneath. Forehead is white with black edge extending to eye. Dark tail tipped white. Stubby, finch-like bill.

DISTRIBUTION

Southern and central Australia, though generally avoiding coastal areas.

HABITAT

Open eucalypt and acacia woodland, grassland and farmland with scattered trees.

BEHAVIOR

Typically in small to sometimes large groups, often with finches or small insectivores. Actively hops on ground, reminiscent of a sparrow. Song consists of musical, bell-like notes and twittering calls. Sedentary.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Mostly forages on the ground for small invertebrates and seeds, but also takes insects from shrubs and bark of trees.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds from June to November. Nests are typically in shrubs or small trees but may be placed in hollows or even buildings. Two to five dull white eggs, with sparse brown or red speckles.

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