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17

Speckled Warbler

(Chthonicola sagittata)
Alternate name(s): "Little Field-lark", "Little Wren", "Speckled Jack", "Blood-tit", "Jenny-wren", "Chocolatebird"
Size: 12-13 cm
Weight: 13 g (average)
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Speckled Warbler at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Not the photos you want? Or are you after even better quality? Have a look here .

ADULT

MALE

Near-frontal view of a male Speckled Warbler
[Near Narrabri, NSW, September 2010]

Lateral view of the same male Speckled Warbler as shown above
[Near Narrabri, NSW, September 2010]

Male Speckled Warbler preening
[Eulah Creek, NSW, 2006]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female Speckled Warbler
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2007]

Here a Speckled Warbler in broad sunshine...
[Eulah Creek, NSW, July 2007]

Lateral view of a female Speckled Warbler
[Eulah Creek, NSW, 2006]

Dorsal view of a female Speckled Warbler (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, May 2014]

Female Speckled Warbler preening
[Eulah Creek, NSW, 2006]

Speckled Warbler foraging on the ground
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2007]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of a fledgling Speckled Warbler
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, September 2010]

This photo shows clearly the downy feathers the fledgling Speckled Warbler is yet to shed
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, September 2010]

Fledgling Speckled Warbler, different viewing angle...
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, September 2010]

Lateral view of the same fledgling Speckled Warbler as shown above
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, September 2010]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Jan Eggs: 3 - 4 Incubation period: ? Fledging age: ?

Most field guides list starting dates for the Speckled Warbler's breeding season of August to September, which is in line with many other species. Our experience, however, is that Speckled Warblers are amongst the very first breeders of the year, i.e. if they breed in August it can still be freezing cold. We assume that, as insect eaters, they find enough food in wintertime to start breeding early in order to beat any migratory small cuckoos to it. The fledgling bird shown on this page was seen on the day in early September 2010 when the first migratory birds that leave Australia during the southern winter arrived in the Narrabri area.

Nest

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

Type: Dome basket Material: Grass, bark strips Height above ground: N/A

The nests of Speckled Warblers are at ground level, at the base of plants or in small hollows.

Speckled Warbler nest hidden in litter at the base of a tree (photo courtesy of J. Wilson)
[Pilliga West Forest, NW of Baradine, NSW, September 2015]

When seen from a different angle, a Speckled Warbler nest is almost invisible (photo courtesy of J. Wilson)
[Pilliga West Forest, NW of Baradine, NSW, September 2015]

Speckled Warbler nest at the base of an old stump; again the entrance is almost invisible (photo courtesy of D. Johnston)
[Coonabarabran/Coonamble/Gulargambone area, NSW, 1986]

Speckled Warbler collecting nesting material
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2007]

Eggs

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

Size: 19 x 16 mm Colour: Chocolate brown Shape: Tapered oval

Speckled Warbler egg temporarily displayed outside the nest (photo courtesy of D. Johnston)
[Coonabarabran/Coonamble/Gulargambone area, NSW, 1986]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Sedentary Elementary unit: Pair

Speckled Warblers are often seen by us together with other small birds, in particular various kinds of Thornbills found in the region.

Unusual sight: Speckled Warbler foraging out in the open
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, May 2016]

Food, Diet

Speckled Warblers hunt for small insects on the ground.

Male Speckled Warbler foraging on the ground; they usually stay in dimly lit areas, avoiding direct sunlight
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, July 2013]

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.

spkwarb_20140419.mp3 (NW NSW) Territorial call © MD
spkwarb_20170430_1.mp3 (NW NSW) Territorial calls © MD
spkwarb_20140919.mp3 (NW NSW) Territorial calls © MD
spkwarb_20170430_2.mp3 (NW NSW) Warning calls © MD
spkwarb_20140313.mp3 (NW NSW) Warning calls © MD
spkwarb_20150626.mp3 (NW NSW) Warning calls (female) © MD
spkwarb_20140313_8.mp3 (NW NSW) Various © MD
spkwarb_20140313_5.mp3 (NW NSW) Various © MD
Click here for more recordings

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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