7g of hyperactivity

Anyone who has tried to identify or photograph thornbills will know they don’t keep still for a moment, preferring to dart acrobatically amongst the foliage, ideally in the mid to upper canopy where they are well hidden.


Brown Thornbill - Kim WormaldBrown Thornbill (Acanthiza pussilla)


It’s always a delight to glimpse thornbills when they are in the open, as I was lucky enough to do with this week’s images. The pose above made me smile, it’s not often I get to see their legs looking quite so spindly.

Brown Thornbills weigh about 7g and are 9-10cm long. They have a lovely musical song along with a harsh scolding call if you accidentally get too close to a nest; they are very bold for such a tiny bird.


Brown Thornbill - Kim WormaldBrown Thornbill


The late afternoon light on this thornbill has made its eye look redder than usual, I should have de-saturated it during post-processing to make it look more normal – I’ll do that when I get a chance and re-post the image to see which way it looks best. I prefer bird images to look natural, it’s a bit ironic that in this case that could mean that I need to fiddle with the saturation.


Brown Thornbill - Kim WormaldBrown Thornbill


I like the quietly watchful pose above that highlights the softly coloured scallops on its head, along with its streaked underparts and a more realistically coloured eye.

As I mentioned in an earlier post about Striated Thornbills, I used to find thornbill species difficult to identify but once I knew to focus on the Brown’s scallops, eye colour and unremarkable cheek feathering, identification became much easier.

I hope you enjoy the chance to focus a while longer on 7g of hyperactivity.

Happy birding, Kim


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