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White-winged Triller - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Neil Fifer
Sydney, Australia, December 2004
Lalage tricolor


Photo © by tcollins
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, May 2008

15·5–18·5 cm (6-7¼ in)
Short slender bill, long wings, long tail with a rounded tip.
Breeding male

  • Black upperparts, head and body and wing-coverts
  • White underparts (including chin), and under-wings, wide white wing patch

Non-breeding males

  • Brownish plumage
  • Light underparts
  • Pale brow
  • Dark line through the eye.

Female is similar, though the male has a greyer rump.

All birds have a netted pattern on the wings - black and white on the breeding male, black and dark brown to light brown in the non-breeding male, and dark brown to light brown in the female.


Port Moresby area (New Guinea); southern Torres Strait islands.; mainland Australia


Eclipse male
Photo © by Ken Doy
SW Queensland, Australia, April 2018

This is a monotypic species[1].

White-winged Triller and White-shouldered Triller are considered conspecific (as White-winged Triller L. sueurii) by Boles and Cristidis, and Birds Australia. Dickinson (2003) and Gill and Donsker (2010) (and Opus) recognise two separate species.


Open woodlands and forest, tree-lined waterways in semi-arid regions and the nearby scrub.



Their diet consists of insects, such as caterpillars, grasshoppers and crickets; fruit, seeds and occasionally nectar.


They build small cup nests of bark, grasses and fine material, bound with spiders' web. They sometimes use the empty nests of other birds, favouring the mud nests of Magpie-lark. Both parents incubate and 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. Birds in Backyards
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Aug 2018)

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