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Grey Fantail - BirdForum Opus

Adult subspecies R. a. bulgeri
Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Kuto Bay, Isle of Pines, New Caledonia, 23 September 2019

Alternative name: Gray Fantail

Rhipidura albiscapa

Identification

14–17 cm (5½-6¾)

  • Sooty-gray upperparts
  • Black breast band
  • White throat
  • Short narrow white supercilium and ear-covert streak
  • Pale tail fringes
  • Buff underparts

Juvenile is duller with buffy wash.

Adult nominate subspecies
Photo © by julien
Raymond Island, Victoria, Australia, 24 July 2006

Distribution

Australia, Tasmania, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Solomon Islands.

Taxonomy

Sometimes considered conspecific with New Zealand Fantail and/or the Mangrove Fantail. The three form a superspecies.

Subspecies

There are 8 subspecies[1]:

  • R. a. bulgeri:
  • R. a. brenchleyi:
  • R. a. keasti:
  • North-eastern Queensland (Cooktown to Clarke Range)
  • R. a. pelzelni:
  • Norfolk Island
  • R. a. alisteri:
  • R. a. albiscapa:
  • Tasmania, King and Flinders Islands (Bass Strait); winters to north
  • R. a. preissi:
  • R. a. albicauda:

Habitat

Occasionally visits densely-planted urban gardens, particularly during the winter migration. Often makes use of eucalypt trees.

Behaviour

Diet

Includes insects, usually flying ones; particularly beetles, flies, bees, wasps, and ants.

Breeding

They build a compact, cup-shaped nest, usually situated in the fork of a tree. It is constructed out of moss, bark and fibre, and often completed with spider's web. They usually lay three or four cream eggs spotted grey and brown.

Vocalisation

Song is a simple ascending series of pure notes notes ending with a slight flourish. Both sexes sing, female less than male; may sing on nest. Call consists of sharp, metallic nasal notes, often repeated as a chattering.

Movements

Migratory, nomadic or sedentary in different parts of range.

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Boles, W. (2019). Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/59145 on 7 December 2019).
  4. Dutson, G. (2011) Birds of Melanesia, Christopher Helm, London.

Recommended Citation

External Links


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