Re: Thornbill behavior

Subject: Re: Thornbill behavior
From: Robert Davis <>
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 13:00:09
>Robert:  I assume you are not describing normal foraging behaviour in
>that the bird flits from branchlet to branchlet while looking under leaves
>and branches for insects. Is this correct?  It is common for thornbills 
>here in Brisbane to hang upside down for short durations.  Are you saying
>that the bird "stops" to perch but then falls over and hangs freely?  If
>so, it would appear that it has a problem.  How long did you watch it?
>What plant was it perched on?   What is "Shane"? 
>Cheers, Jim Davis

Jim: I would say that the bird was not really exhibiting normal foraging
behaviour as it appeared as you suggested, to lose its balance and hang
upside down from the branches each time it landed. In addition, it did not
appear to be feeding of thge foliage or branches while in this inverted
state. I only watched the bird for about 10 minutes, so I can't be sure if
this was extended behaviour or just a burst of feeding or such like. It was
perched on an unidentified species of mallee eucalypt in a
mallee-verticordia woodland in the north-east wheatbelt of WA. By "Shane",
I was posing a question for Dr Shane Raidal of Murdoch University to see if
he might know of a physiological reason for this behaviour. 

Thanks for your response.



Robert Davis
Honours Student 
School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Murdoch University
Perth WA

E-mail : 

PH: (09) 354 1719


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