Brown Thornbill

Also known by its scientific name, Acanthiza pusilla, is a common local thornbill found throughout the box-ironbark country and beyond. They prefer somewhat denser habitat than their relatives – medium-sized shrubs such as Golden Wattle, Hedge Wattle and Coffee-bush are typical micro-habitats favoured by Brown Thornbills.

I’ve often wondered about their scientific name – a little research reveals that Acanthiza is from the Greek akantheōn thorn-brake and zaō to inhabit, while pusilla is from the Latin pusillus tiny, very small.

I think the term thorn-brake is referring to dense, prickly vegetation – certainly appropriate for Acanthiza pusilla. The rich, warbling calls of this individual alerted me to its presence feeding among some Golden Wattles.

BT1

Brown Thornbill, Green Gully, 26th July 2015.

BT3

II

BT4

III

BT2

IV

7 responses to “Brown Thornbill

  1. Superb close ups

  2. Geoff, What plant is “coffee bush” as mentioned in your post?

    • Hi Deni, Coffee-bush Cassinia arcuata is a common local shrub, renowned for its ability to colonise disturbed areas. It grows to a height of about 2 metres max. Your question has prompted me to write a post about it! Stay tuned.

  3. I really enjoy your wonderful photos, and the light on these little birds is beautiful. Thanks

  4. Great shots Geoff and very nice to learn the derivation of the scientific name. I’d often wondered.

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