• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Eastern Spinebill - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies tenuirostris
Photo © by Neil Fifer
Melbourne, Australia, June 2004
Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris


Juvenile, Subspecies tenuirostris
Photo © by Rose Fletcher
Victor Harbor, South Australia, January 2011

13–16 cm (5-6¼ in)

  • Greyish-brown back
  • Pale cinnamon underparts
  • Black head
  • White throat with red patch
  • Rufous nape
  • Dark tail with white tips
  • Red iris
  • Long down-curved black bill

Female and juvenile - smaller and duller


South-eastern Australia: found in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria'



There are 4 subspecies1:

Photo © by Hans&Judy Beste
Gold Coast, South East Queensland, 2013
  • A. t. cairnsensis:
  • Montane north-eastern Queensland (Windsor Tablelands to Paluma Range)
  • A. t. tenuirostris:
  • A. t. dubius:
  • Tasmania, King and Flinders Islands (Bass Strait)
  • A. t. halmaturinus:
  • South-eastern South Australia (Mount Lofty and Flinders Ranges; Kangaroo Island


Forest, woodlands and gardens.



Their diet consists of nectar, insects, arthropods and invertebrates.


Subspecies tenuirostris
Photo © by Kalitechnis
Kangaroo Vally, New South Wales, March 2018

They construct a deep cup-shaped nest from grass and bark, lined with feathers. The clutch consists of 1-4 pink eggs with dark reddish brown blotches and spots. They are incubated by the female for 13-16 days. Both adults care for the young.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Dec 2017)

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.