Yellowrumped thornbill

Acanthiza chrysorrhoa

SUBFAMILY

Acanthizinae

TAXONOMY

Acanthiza chrysorrhoa Quoy and Gaimard, 1830, New South Wales, Australia.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Yellow-tailed thornbill, tom-tit; French: Acanthize a croupion jaune; German: Gelbbürzel-Dornschnabel; Spanish: Acanzisa de Cola Amarillo.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4 in (10 cm); 0.32 oz (9 g). Characterized by a bright yellow rump, black crown spotted white, and white brow.

DISTRIBUTION

Southern and central Australia, including Tasmania.

HABITAT

Open woodland and edges, farmland and grassland with scattered trees or bushes, parks and gardens.

BEHAVIOR

Typically in family groups or small flocks, often with other thornbills. Active and noisy, with twittering songs and calls. Yellow rump very conspicuous in flight so that bird almost disappears when it lands. Sedentary or local movements only.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Primarily ground feeding, taking insects, other arthropods and sometimes seeds. Occasionally forages on shrubs and low trees.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds from July to December, occasionally later. Domed nest is placed in a bush or sapling. Typically made of grass, lichen, and other plant fibers. The true entrance is at the side, and concealed by a hood, but there is a false cup-shaped nest placed on the top, possibly to confuse predators or cuckoos. Two to four pink eggs, lightly speckled. Both parents build nest, but only female incubates. Incubation period of 18-20 days, fledging period of 17-19 days. Parents are often assisted by helpers. Many nests fail due to predation or are parasitized by bronze-cuckoos.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS A well-known bird to many country dwellers. ♦

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