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Naturalis Biodiversity Center - RMNH.AVES.146838 1 - Orthonyx spaldingii Ramsay, 1868 - Turdidae - bird skin specimen.jpeg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Orthonychidae
Genus: Orthonyx
O. spaldingii
Binomial name
Orthonyx spaldingii
Ramsay, 1868

The chowchilla (Orthonyx spaldingii) is a passerine bird in the family Orthonychidae. It is endemic to Australia.

Near Mount Lewis - Australia


In their 1999 study, Schodde and Mason recognise two adjoining subspecies, O. s. spaldingii and O. s. melasmenus with a zone of intergradation.[2]


Unmistakable thrush-like, ground-dwelling, birds. Males and females largely dark brown with white eye-ring, tail-feather shafts extend as spines beyond feather-vanes; males with white throat, breast and belly; females with bright rufous throat and upper breast, white lower breast and belly.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The chowchilla is restricted to upland and lowland tropical rainforests of north-eastern Queensland.


Orthonyx spaldingii (male)


Mainly invertebrates, but also small vertebrates.


Continuous chattering, singing and other complex vocalisations.


Nests on or near ground, often on ferns, stumps or logs. Builds a bulky, dome-shaped stick-nest with a clutch of one, possibly sometimes two, white eggs.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Orthonyx spaldingii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Schodde R, Mason IJ (1999). The Directory of Australian Birds : Passerines. A Taxonomic and Zoogeographic Atlas of the Biodiversity of Birds in Australia and its Territories. Collingwood, Australia: CSIRO Publishing. pp. x 851 pp. ISBN 0-643-06456-7.
  • BirdLife International. (2007). Species factsheet: Orthonyx spaldingii. Downloaded from [1] on 9 August 2007
  • Higgins, P.J.; & Peter, J.M. (eds). (2003). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 6: Pardalotes to Shrike-thrushes. Oxford University Press: Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-553762-9

External links[edit]