Australian Chats Epthianuridae

Class: Aves Order: Passeriformes Family: Epthianuridae Number of species: 5 species

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PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Australian chats are small birds that range in length from 4.3 to 5.5 inches (11 to 14 centimeters), and weigh between 0.3 and 0.6 ounces (9 and 18 grams). These birds have long and delicate legs. Some species have bills that are decurved, curve downward. The bills of all species are fine, or smooth. Like their relatives, the honeyeaters, their tongues are brush-tipped, which allows some species to eat nectar.

Male Australian chats are very brightly colored, especially during breeding season, with yellow, orange, or red undersides. Females, juvenile, immature birds, and some species of non-breeding male chats have plumage, feathers, which is colored but not very bright. The male white-fronted chat is black, white, and gray.

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE

Australian chats can be found all over Australia, except in the tree-covered north and east coasts, or in southwestern Tasmania, an island off the southeastern coast of Australia. The different species of chats tend to live in different areas of their range. The orange chat and the crimson chat tend to live throughout the center of the continent from the west coast to the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range, and from the south coast to the tropics. They prefer the more arid land, dry, and are seldom found in the wetter areas. White-fronted chats can be found across southern Australia. They are also the only species that inhabit Tasmania. Gibberbirds live in the stony deserts of central Australia.

phylum class subclass order monotypic order suborder family

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