Sweet songster

As I’ve sat for most of week at the computer, a pleasant aural distraction has been listening to a pair of Grey Fantails calling from the garden. At this time of year we get some interesting visitors passing through, like these fantails, perhaps on the move after breeding. In the past week we’ve had Olive-backed Oriole, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Fuscous and Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters, all unusual in the centre of town.

I suspect the Grey Fantails won’t hang around so I’ll enjoy them while I can. I’d forgotten what a beautiful song they have. Hearing them in the bush among other more boisterous, vocally impressive species I’ve frequently overlooked their melodies. Not so when they are the only birds calling on a clear, cool morning.


Grey Fantail, Wyndham Street Newstead, 3rd November 2015.









PS: If you’d like to learn more about the structure and function of rictal bristles click here to see this paper, Lederer, R. J., 1972, The role of avian rictal bristles, Wilson Bull. 84:193–197.

9 responses to “Sweet songster

  1. Really lovely photos, Geoff — one can just imagine the melodies coming out of that wide open mouth. And great to get the tail fanned.

  2. Beautiful close-ups, tell me, are they hairs coming from inside the birds throat? Is that usual?
    Your photos get better and better, thank you.

  3. Beautiful photos, what is in its mouth?

    • Hi Kristin – I imagine you are referring to the rictal bristles … I’ve put an addition to the post which provides a link to more information.
      All the best, geoff

  4. Geraldine Harris

    Like some of the others, I was wondering about the whisker like hairs in the birds mouth – do you know how common this is and what is their purpose?

  5. I woke in Dean’s Marsh this morning to the delightful song of a grey fantail as well. Is the technology on the way so that you can record AND post the song with the photo!!??

  6. A pair have just built a nest in my shed at Sedgwick, I am watching for progress.

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