Yellow-rumped Thornbill

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Common Name: Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Scientific Name: Acanthiza chrysorrhoa

Size: 4-5 inches (9.5-12 cm)

Habitat: Australia; wide distribution across western, southern and eastern Australia as well as Tasmania; it is absent from the north coast of Western Australia, parts of central Australia, northern Queensland and central and northern Northern Territory. The species inhabits a wide range of habitats, including open forest and woodland, grasslands, savannah as scrubland.

Status: Least Concern. Global population: Unknown.

Diet: Insectivorous; major prey items include ants, beetles, bugs and lerps. Other items eaten include spiders, flies and seeds. The species usually forages in small groups of between 3-12 individuals, and may join mixed species-flocks with other small insectivorous passerines such as the Speckled Warbler (Chthonicola sagittatus), Weebill (Smicrornis brevirostris), and other species of thornbill.

Nesting: Breeding takes place from July to December, with one, two or even more broods a year. Nesting usually occurs as a pair, but sometimes one to three helpers will assist the breeding pair. The nest is a messy dome-shaped structure made of dried grass and other vegetation hidden low down among dense foliage or shrubs, or sometimes in vines or mistletoe. Atop the dome is a cup-shaped depression which serves as a false nest, while the real nest is inside with a concealed entrance. Three or four white oval eggs sometimes marked with pale red-brown measure 18 x 13 mm. The female incubates the clutch, and the clutch takes around 16–18 days to hatch. On hatching both parents help feed the brood. The nestling period is around 19 days. The species is parasitized by the Shining Bronze-Cuckoo and the Fan-tailed Cuckoo. Many species of bird take eggs and chicks from the nest, including Red Wattlebirds, currawongs, Australian Magpies and ravens, and many honeyeaters will destroy their nests in order to steal nesting material. Ringing studies have found that the species can live for up to nine years.

Cool Facts: The Yellow-rumped Thornbill is the largest species of thornbill.

Found in Songbird ReMix Australia Volume I

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