Varied Sittela

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Image:Variedsittella.JPG

Common Name: Varied Sittella
Scientific Name: Daphoenositta chrysoptera

Size: 4 – 4 ¼ inches (10-11cm)

Habitat: Australia; endemic to Australia (widespread in mainland Australia) and New Guinea. Found in eucalypt woodlands and forests throughout their range. They prefer rough-barked trees like stringybarks and ironbarks or mature trees with hollows or dead branches.

Status: Least Concern. Global population: Unknown. Varied Sitellas may have declined in some areas following the clearing of habitat and removal of woodland.

Diet: Insects by gleaning on tree trunks or branches, moving downwards or along branches, searching for insects. They land at the top of a tree and work downwards, searching and poking into cracks and under things, chattering noisily.

Nesting: The Varied Sitella's nest is a deep open cup, like a cone, of bark and spider web, decorated on the outside with long pieces of bark, camouflaged to look like the fork or branch where it is placed. This species usually breeds cooperatively, with the breeding pair having several helpers. They will sometimes also breed in single pairs. Only the breeding female incubates the eggs and broods the young. All help to feed the young and remove faecal sacs. Breeding season occurs June to April. 3 eggs are laid and incubation lasts 13 days.

Cool Facts: The feet of the Varied Sitella are small but with very long toes for clinging onto branches. They move in spirals down trees, searching for food, and even hang below branches.


Found in Songbird ReMix Australia Volume I

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