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17

White-browed Scrubwren

(Sericornis frontalis)
Alternate name(s): "Buff-breasted Scrubwren", "Brown Scrubwren*", "Spotted Scrubwren"
Aboriginal name(s): "binkimom", "kikal" (WA)

Size: 11-13 cm
Weight: 12 g (average)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See White-browed Scrubwren at Wikipedia .

Click here for classification information

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "frontalis"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male(?) White-browed Scrubwren
[Munghorn Gap NR, NSW, December 2015]

Close-up lateral view of a male(?) White-browed Scrubwren (photo courtesy of I. Duncan)
[Melbourne Botanical Gardens, VIC, July 2012]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female White-browed Scrubwren foraging on the ground (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Swifts Creek, East Gippsland, VIC, September 2014]

Near-frontal view of a female White-browed Scrubwren (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Swifts Creek, East Gippsland, VIC, September 2014]

Lateral view of a female White-browed Scrubwren (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Swifts Creek, East Gippsland, VIC, September 2014]

Lateral view of a female White-browed Scrubwren foraging on the ground (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Swifts Creek, East Gippsland, VIC, September 2014]

Lateral view of a female(?) White-browed Scrubwren
[Drip Gorge, Goulburn River NP, NSW, December 2015]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Adult female White-browed Scrubwren with two immature birds (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Swifts Creek, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2014]

Close-up lateral view of one immature White-browed Scrubwren (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Swifts Creek, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2014]

Adult female(?) White-browed Scrubwren, right, with a fledgling bird, left (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[St. Alban's, NSW, August 2013]

Race "tweedi"

ADULT

Close-up full-frontal view of a male White-browed Scrubwren
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, August 2015]

Close-up near-frontal view of a male White-browed Scrubwren
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, August 2015]

Near-frontal view of a male(?) White-browed Scrubwren (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[O'Reilly's Plateau, Lamington NP, Gold Coast, QLD, November 2013]

Close-up lateral view of a male(?) White-browed Scrubwren
[Boonoo Boonoo NP, NSW, May 2014]

Lateral view of a White-browed Scrubwren
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, 2006]

Dorsal view of a White-browed Scrubwren in dense rainforest
[Dorrigo NP, NSW, January 2011]

White-browed Scrubwren seen from above
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, 2006]

Dorsal view of a White-browed Scrubwren seen preening
[Warrabah NP, NSW, April 2014]

Dorsal view of a White-browed Scrubwren seen preening
[Warrabah NP, NSW, April 2014]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-frontal view of an immature White-browed Scrubwren (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, May 2012]

Lateral view of the same immature White-browed Scrubwren as shown above (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, May 2012]

Lateral view of an immature White-browed Scrubwren
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, 2006]

Race "laevigaster"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male White-browed Scrubwren
[Washpool NP, NSW, October 2007]

Near-frontal view of a male White-browed Scrubwren (photo courtesy of A. Campbell)
[Mount McEuen, QLD, November 2016]

Near-lateral view of a male White-browed Scrubwren "laevigaster"
[Washpool NP, NSW, October 2007]

Lateral view of a male(?) White-browed Scrubwren "laevigaster" (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[O'Reilly's Plateau, Lamington NP, Gold Coast, QLD, August 2013]

View from above onto the same White-browed Scrubwren "laevigaster" as shown above (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[O'Reilly's Plateau, Lamington NP, Gold Coast, QLD, August 2013]

FEMALE

Lateral view of a female(?) White-browed Scrubwren "laevigaster" wagging its rear
[Washpool NP, NSW, October 2007]

Race "maculatus" ("Spotted Scrubwren")

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male White-browed Scrubwren; note the spotted breast characterising this bird as race "maculatus" (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Cheynes Beach, Albany, WA, January 2015]

Lateral view of a male White-browed Scrubwren (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Cheynes Beach, Albany, WA, January 2015]

Dorsal view of a male White-browed Scrubwren (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Cheynes Beach, Albany, WA, January 2015]

FEMALE

Lateral view of a female White-browed Scrubwren; note that this bird is greyer than the male shown above (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Ocean Reef, Perth, WA, December 2016]

Race "ashbyi"

ADULT

Lateral view of a White-browed Scrubwren (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Seal Bay, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

View onto the cap and back of a White-browed Scrubwren (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Seal Bay, Kangaroo Island, SA, March 2016]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Aug - Dec Eggs: 2 - 3 Incubation period: ? Fledging age: ?

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Dome basket Material: Bark, grass, moss, lined with feathers & fur Height above ground: 0 - 2 m?

White-browed Scrubwren nest in a shopping bag hanging in a shed (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Swifts Creek, East Gippsland, VIC, September 2014]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 20 x 16 mm Colour: Off-white, with light- to mid-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Sedentary Elementary unit: Pair/family clan

Similar to some other bird species, White-browed Scrubwrens can become quite tame. The bird shown below was photographed inside a house.

White-browed Scrubwren inside a house (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

White-browed Scrubwren hunting for insects around a rockpool
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, April 2013]

Food, Diet

Yellow-throated Scrubwrens forage through leaf litter or tree bark for small insects.

At Dorrigo National Park we observed White-browed Scrubwrens that followed larger birds working through leaf litter (such as Superb Lyrebirds and Australian Brush-Turkeys) and then opportunistically picked their prey out of the dugouts.

Dorsal view of a male White-browed Scrubwren after a successful hunt in a creek bed
[Near Barraba, NSW, October 2006]

White-browed Scrubwren pulling what looks like a larva out of a crevice between rocks in a creek bed
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, April 2013]

Near-dorsal view of a female White-browed Scrubwren with its catch, a spider
[Drip Gorge, Goulburn River NP, NSW, December 2015]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

wbrscrw_20160730.mp3 tweedi
(NW NSW)
"Whirring call" © MD
wbrscrw_20141107.mp3 tweedi
(NW NSW)
Warning call (human) © MD
wbrscrw_20141107_2.mp3 tweedi
(NW NSW)
Warning call (human) © MD
wbrscrw_20140226.mp3 tweedi
(NW NSW)
Annoyed call © MD
wbrscrw_20140127.mp3 tweedi
(NW NSW)
Various © MD
wbrscrw_20150620.mp3 tweedi
(N NSW)
Various © MD
wbrscrw_20170402.mp3 tweedi
(NW NSW)
? © MD
wbrscrw_20140115_4.mp3 tweedi
(NW NSW)
? © MD
wbrscrw_20140124_2.mp3 tweedi
(NW NSW)
? © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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