This is the second instalment in the thornbill identification series.
The first instalment covered some general tips and featured the Striated Thornbill. Today it’s the turn of the Brown Thornbill.
This species is generally found close to the ground, foraging in dense shrubs or in the epicormic foliage of eucalypts. Locally, wherever there is a good shrub cover, you are almost certain to encounter Brown Thornbills. They especially like areas of Gorse Bitter-pea, Rough Wattle and Coffee-bush.
The set of images below illustrate the key features of this thornbill:
- brick-red iris
- rufous forehead with delicate scalloping
- bold dark streaking on the throat and breast
- rufous rump
Brown Thornbills are active and inquisitive birds. At this time of year they are often found in the company of other thornbills and insectivores in mixed species feeding flocks. In this instance both Buff-rumped and Striated Thornbills were feeding nearby. Not far to our north the Brown Thornbill can be found together with a close relative, the Inland Thornbill. This latter species is relatively common around Bendigo, in similar habitat to the Newstead area. The main obvious difference is that the Inland Thornbill has a grey-brown forehead, rather than rufous and it also tends to carry its tail cocked. I’m always alert to the possibility of seeing an Inland Thornbill locally but have never done so.