|Amytornis or grasswrens|
|Striated grasswren (Amytornis striatus)|
The grasswrens, are a genus, Amytornis of Australasian birds in the Maluridae family. The genus also comprises the subfamily Amytornithinae, one of two in that family, the other (Malurinae) contains the fairy-wrens and emu-wrens. The genus contains around 10 species, many of which are poorly known due to their secretive nature and remote and inaccessible habitat.
The grasswrens are the largest members of the Maluridae, ranging from 15 g (0.53 oz) for the Eyrean grasswren to the 35 g (1.2 oz) white-throated grasswren. They generally have long tails and legs and short wings and are adapted for life foraging on the ground. The bill is typically shorter and narrower than the fairy-wrens and emu-wrens, which reflects the bigger part that seeds play in their diet. The plumage of the grasswrens is cryptic, usually red, buff and brown patterned with white and black.
Distribution and habitat
The grasswrens are endemic to Australia. Grasswren inhabit remote and arid or semi-arid regions of the continent, in the interior and north. Species typically occupy small ranges as well. Most species of grasswrens inhabit habitat dominated by spinifex. They are often found in hilly areas dominated by rocks, which provides them with prey as well as shelter, particularly thermal shelter from extremes of heat or cold.
List of species
The genus contains the following species:
- Grey grasswren (Amytornis barbatus)
- Black grasswren (Amytornis housei)
- White-throated grasswren (Amytornis woodwardi)
- Carpentarian grasswren (Amytornis dorotheae)
- Short-tailed grasswren (Amytornis merrotsyi)
- Striated grasswren (Amytornis striatus)
- Eyrean grasswren (Amytornis goyderi)
- Western grasswren (Amytornis textilis)
- Thick-billed grasswren (Amytornis modestus)
- Dusky grasswren (Amytornis purnelli)
- Kalkadoon grasswren - (Amytornis ballarae)
- Rowley, I.; Russell, E. (2017). del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Sargatal, Jordi; Christie, David A.; de Juana, Eduardo, eds. "Fairy-wrens (Maluridae)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 26 July 2017. (Subscription required (. ))
- Del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A. & Christie D. (editors). (2007). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-84-96553-42-2
- Media related to Amytornis at Wikimedia Commons
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