Thornbill with rabbit fluff

Spring hasn’t exactly sprung but it is definitely springing and after such a long, damp, drizzly, overcast winter I’m stoked to hear more bird song and see signs of nesting.



Brown Thornbil v - Kim Wormald

Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla)
Canon 5DII, 1/640, f/6.3, ISO 1600, focal length 365mm



What a delight to be out and about and have this tiny thornbill stop and look at me for a moment. It’s expression is more curious than concerned so it may have been looking at my hair as a possible addition to its nest, it’s happened before. Brown Thornbills are distinguishable from other thornbills by their rufous forehead with its delicate scalloped markings, along with their striated chest, reddish-brown rump and red eye. Inland Thornbills look similar, as do some of the other thornbill species, and their territories do overlap. It’s worth finding out which species inhabit which areas and studying their behaviours and calls. Browns, striateds, yellow-rumped and yellows share our property so I’ve had a chance to get to know them in more detail than the other species.



Brown Thornbill - Kim Wormald h

Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla)
Canon 5DII, 1/640, f/6.3, ISO 1600, focal length 365mm

Brown Thornbills weigh just 10g and are 9-10cm in length, much of which is tail, so on a desktop screen these images will show a larger-than-life version of the bird, they could be made about life-sized on a mobile phone. Brown Thornbills build domed nests with side entrances, using grasses, fine strips of bark, fern and cobwebs for binding, which they then line with plant down, feathers or fur. Their nests are built near the ground in undergrowth which makes them susceptible to predators such as cats, snakes and foxes. Females build the nests and incubate the young, usually three, while both parents take on feedings duties.

The Brown Thornbill in the images took her rabbit fluff towards some dense ferns to continue creating what must be one of the world’s softest nests.

Happy birding, Kim


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