Inland thornbill

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Inland thornbill
Inland Thornbill (5669197054) - edit.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Acanthizidae
Genus: Acanthiza
A. apicalis
Binomial name
Acanthiza apicalis
Gould, 1847

Acanthiza apicalis apicalis
Acanthiza apicalis albiventris
Acanthiza apicalis cinerascens
Acanthiza apicalis whitlocki

The inland thornbill (Acanthiza apicalis), called the broad-tailed thornbill, is a small, insect-eating bird of Australia. The inland thornbill is commonly confused with the coastal brown thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla) due to its similar colorations.[2] The inland thornbill encompasses four subspecies:[3]

  • Acanthiza apicalis albiventris
  • Acanthiza apicalis apicalis, the nominate subsp.
  • Acanthiza apicalis cinerascens
  • Acanthiza apicalis whitlocki, Whitlock's tit. Originally described as a species of Acanthiza by A. J. North, who was requested to honour the collector of its specimens, F. Lawson Whitlock, by the sponsor of the expedition, H. L. White.[4]

The thornbill ranges in size from 9 to 11 centimetres, averaging 10 centimetres and 7 grams.[5] The bird has a grey-brown back, a reddish rump, and a dark tail with a white tip. Its underbelly is cream colored with black streaks. Both male and female thornbills look similar, though male birds tend to be a bit larger.[5]

Breeding season lasts from July through December. Female thornbills average three eggs per clutch, which incubate for 19 days. Baby birds leave the nest after 17 days.[5]

The thornbill can be found throughout Australia inland of the Great Dividing Range, but not in tropical northern climates or in Tasmania.[2] The inland thornbill overlaps in range with the brown thornbill along the Great Dividing Range, leading to numerous mis-sightings.[5] Inland thornbills live in dry scrublands and woodlands. In Southwestern Australia, they also inhabit sand heaths and karri and jarrah forests.[5] It feeds on small insects and spiders, and occasionally seeds and small vegetable matter, beneath shrubs and in foliage.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Acanthiza apicalis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T22731025A95031265. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22731025A95031265.en. Retrieved 17 May 2018.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b Oz Birds: Inland Thornbill. 2006. Accessible via
  3. ^ Taxonomy Question
  4. ^ Whitlock, F. L. (1910). "On the East Murchison. Four months collecting trip". The Emu. Melbourne : Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union. 9 (4): 198. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e Birds in Backyards: Inland Thornbill Factsheet. Australian Museum. 2006. Accessible via: [1]

External links[edit]