Thornbill ID

To: "Shirley Cook" <>
Subject: Thornbill ID
From: peter crow <>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 14:39:17 +1000
Below is a summary of Peter Slater's comments on Thornbills in his
field guide Passerineshope someone finds this helpful


Peter Slater in his early Field Guide, Passerines, sorts thornbills
into three groups. This doesn’t solve all the problems but it does make
it easier to decide which species should be considered.
Group (a) Three small species, the Weebill, Striated Thornbill and
Yellow Thornbill. Slater calls the latter the Little Thornbill. They
are active, very social birds and strictly arboreal. They can be
distinguished by the prominent streaks on the ear coverts. (I have
included the Weebill here as Slater has but acknowledge its bill is
hardly thorn like.)

Group (b) The pale-eyed thornbills have yellowish or reddish rumps and a tendency to feed on the ground. Only one, the Mountain Thornbill, has a streaked breast. They generally nest in hollow branches, behind loose bark or in dense grass.

Group (c) The dark eyed thornbills have reddish rumps. All except the
Slaty-backed are streaked on the breast. They rarely if ever feed on
the ground and the nest is usually built among leaves or twigs

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