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17

Buff-rumped Thornbill

(Acanthiza reguloides)
Alternate name(s): "Buff-rumped Tit", "Buff-rumped Tit-Warbler",
"Bark-tit", "Buff-tailed Thornbill", "Varied Thornbill", "Scaly-breasted Tit"

Size: 10.5-11.5 cm
Weight: 6-9 g

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 Buff-rumped Thornbill at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "reguloides"

ADULT

Sex unknown

Frontal view of a Buff-rumped Thornbill; the species can be identified by the light colour of the iris and the scalloped forehead (note also the pronounced forward vision)
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, September 2012]

Frontal view of a Buff-rumped Thornbill looking sideways
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, September 2012]

Frontal view of a Buff-rumped Thornbill looking sideways note the light colour of the iris and the scalloped forehead
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, January 2008]

Near-lateral view of a Buff-rumped Thornbill
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, December 2013]

Lateral view of a Buff-rumped Thornbill
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, May 2012]

Lateral view of a Buff-rumped Thornbill
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, September 2012]

Lateral view of a Buff-rumped Thornbill
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, December 2013]

Near-dorsal view of a Buff-rumped Thornbill (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Oxley Wild Rivers NP, NSW, June 2017]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Close-up near-lateral view of a fledgling Buff-rumped Thornbill (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, November 2018]

Ventral view of three fledgling Buff-rumped Thornbills waiting to be fed
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, November 2018]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Aug - Dec Eggs: 3 - 5 Incubation period: 17 - 20 days Fledging age: ca. 16? days

Nest

"bungobittah", "lar", "malunna", "jindi" [bundjalung] = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Dome (in tree hollow) Material: Bark strips, grass stems, leaves, feather lining Height above ground: 1 - 5 m

Lateral view of a branch with a Buff-rumped Thornbill nest inside
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, September 2012]

View into the nesting hollow of a pair of Buff-rumped Thornbills
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, September 2012]

Distant lateral view of a Buff-rumped Thornbill carrying a Crimson Rosella feather for lining its nest
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, September 2012]

Eggs

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

Size: 16 x 12 mm Colour: Creamy, with mid-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial?/ roaming? Mobility: Sedentary Elementary unit: Family clan

(Next to Yellow-rumped Thornbills,) Buff-rumped Thornbills are one of only two species of thornbill observed by us to regularly forage on the ground. We have seen them hunting for insects on our lawn and paddock. Having caught something, they fly to a nearby tree with dense foliage before eating the insect.

Near-frontal view of a Buff-rumped Thornbill; they are among a number of species that are particuarly adept at playing "hide and seek" with photographers
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, October 2015]

Food, Diet

To the best of our knowledge all thornbills feed primarily on small insects, but we have also seen some taking nectar.

Ventral view of an adult Buff-rumped Thornbill (top) bringing food for its fledgling chick, a flying insect
[Near Narrabri, NSW, October 2021]

Dorsal view of a Buff-rumped Thornbill taking nectar from Urn Heath
[Dandry Gorge AA, near Coonabarabran, NSW, June 2023]

Lateral view of a Buff-rumped Thornbill drinking from a waterhole
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, January 2014]

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.

buthbil_20180922.m4a reguloides
(NW NSW)
Warning calls (mob) © MD
buthbil_20140115_6.mp3 reguloides
(NW NSW)
Alarm calls (Pied Currawong) © MD
buthbil_20181112.m4a reguloides
(NW NSW)
Begging calls (fledglings) © MD

More Buff-rumped Thornbill sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .

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.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.