Western Shrike-tit

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Western Shrike-tit
From: Phil & Sue Gregory <>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 20:08:57 +1000
We saw two females of this seldom seen bird at Dryandra near Naroggin, Western Australia on Feb 14, just opposite the trail to the Ochre Walk. The disyllabic "hur hee" rather nasal call attracted my attention, it had a shrike-tit type quality but was bit different to the usual calls of Eastern Shrike-tit. They were calling a lot, and were very responsive to my whistle.

My feeble imitation brought them in, and one landed not 4m away from us almost on the ground, working at some dead sticks that had some moss attached, and was quite indifferent to our presence and the frantic picture snapping of my companion- my camera was of course safely in the truck! He got some terrific shots too.

One bird seemed slightly better marked than the other, with a better defined greenish throat patch, and I suspect there may have been at third bird around, but was not able to confirm this. I am not overly familiar with Western Shrike-tit and wonder if anyone out there knows how or indeed if the vocalizations differ from those of the Eastern taxon, (split by some as a species along with the very distinct and even less known Northern Shrike-tit).
Phil Gregory

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