Spotted pardalote

Pardalotus punctatus

TAXONOMY

Pardalotus punctatus Shaw, 1792, New Holland (Australia). Three subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Diamond bird; bank diamond; French: Pardalote pointillé German: Fleckenpanthervogel; Spanish: Pardalote Moetado.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

3.5 in (9 cm); 0.32 oz (9g). Sexually dimorphic in plumage: males have yellow throats and breast.

DISTRIBUTION

Australia. P. p. punctatus: coastal belt from southern Queensland to eastern South Australia and southwestern West Australia and in Tasmania; P. p. millitaris: coastal belt of north central

Queensland; P. p. xanthopygae: mallee and mulga areas of Victoria to Western Australia.

HABITAT

Eucalypt forests and woodlands, residential parks and gardens. P. p. xanthopygae mostly in mallee and mulga woodlands.

BEHAVIOR

Territorial during breeding season, but forms flocks of a dozen birds or more in winter, and may join mixed species foraging flocks. Two- or three-note call.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Gleans twigs and foliage for scale insects, and a wide variety of other invertebrates.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Nest is of plant fibers about 19.7 in (50 cm) in tunnel burrowed into earthen bank or flat ground, often near a creek. The usual clutch is three to five white eggs incubated by both parents; hatching is in 14-16 days, fledging in about a month.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened, but habitat alteration is a potential threat.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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