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White-browed Babbler

From Opus

Photo © by Pearly_ShellsMcLaren Vale, South Australia, September 2004
Photo © by Pearly_Shells
McLaren Vale, South Australia, September 2004
Photo © by Pearly_ShellsMcLaren Vale, South Australia, October 2004
Photo © by Pearly_Shells
McLaren Vale, South Australia, October 2004

Alternative name: White-browed Chatterer

Pomatostomus superciliosus


[edit] Identification

17 - 22cm. A small, dull brown Australasian Babbler:

  • Dark brown crown
  • White brow and dark eye stripe
  • Long, graduated tail with a white rounded tipp
  • White throat and breast
  • Grey-brown flanks and belly
  • Long, pointed curved bill

Sexes similar. Juveniles like adults but with shorter and less decurved bill

[edit] Distribution

Southern part of Australia.
Locally common.

[edit] Taxonomy

Four subspecies accepted:

Bird from Gascoyne valley (Western Australia) are sometimes separated as gwendolenae. Some authors treat this species as monotypic and all geographical variations as clinal.

[edit] Habitat

Dry native woodlands with a shrubby understorey, scrub along watercourses and saltbush.

[edit] Behaviour

The diet includes insects, spiders and other invertebrates, small amphibians, crustaceans and reptiles and will also eat fruits and seeds.
Forages mainly on the ground. Usually seen in groups of up to 15 birds.
It build a domed stick nest, with a hooded side entrance. It builds breeding and resting nests. Breeding pairs are monogamous; they form co-operative breeding groups comprising two to four breeding pairs and two to eight non-breeding helpers. The breeding female incubates the eggs, though other birds in the group feed her and the young birds. Lays usually 2 - 6 eggs. Breeding recorded in all months, mainly July to November.
Largely resident but some evidence of nomadism in parts of range.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553422
  3. Simpson, K and N Day. 1998. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-4877-5

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