Thornbills … a quick guide

Here is a line-up of our local thornbills … all five species, with a brief summary of spotting characters to help separate what can sometimes be a confounding group.

Brown Thornbill – one of only two locals with streaked underparts, the brick-red iris, scalloped chestnut crown and brown rump are prominent.

Brown Thornbill, Rise and Shine, 22nd May 2018

Striated Thornbill – also with streaked underparts but distinctive fine white streaks on the crown and a dark iris.

Striated Thornbill, Bruce’s Track, 29th July 2017

Buff-rumped Thornbill – pale iris is a tell-tale sign as is the pale rump.

Buff-rumped Thornbill, Bruce’s Track, 22nd May 2017

Yellow Thornbill – the least marked of the local thornbills … the streaked ear coverts stand out as does the contrasting pale orange throat.

Yellow Thornbill, Wyndham Street Newstead, 13th May 2018

Yellow-rumped Thornbill – bold white spots on the crown and a bright yellow rump.

Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Wyndham Street Newstead, 5th July 2016

10 responses to “Thornbills … a quick guide

  1. Excellent. Thanks so much. If only they pause long enough to give you a good look.

  2. Very helpful thanks Geoff.

  3. Sue Lanchester

    Just wonderful photos makes it easier to tell the birds apart. I have a feeling that the brown thornbill might be in our garden from time to time. Sue woodend

    Sent from my iPad

  4. Always a good reminder thanks Geoff. 🙂

  5. carol summerhayes

    Beautiful and very helpful photos. Thanks.

  6. Phil Robertson

    Nice photos Geoff. Any chance of a few more? – inland and chestnut- rumped spring to mind.

  7. thanks Geoff.. a very handy guide

  8. That’s a stunning set of photos! It’s hard to get a clear view of all these darty little birds, let alone images like those. Thanks for the daily magic!

  9. Pingback: Mallacoota Birds: Brown Thornbill – Mallacoota Birds

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