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17

Spotted Pardalote

(Pardalotus punctatus)
Alternate name(s): "Diamond-bird", "Ground Dyke", "Diamond Dyke", "Ground Diamond",
"Yellow-rumped Pardalote", "Yellow-tailed Pardalote", "(Spotted) Diamond Dyke"
Aboriginal name(s): "bilyabit"*, "widopwidop"* (WA); "weetuwee"

Size: 8-10 cm
Weight: 6-12 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 Spotted Pardalote 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 .

Race "punctatus"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male Spotted Pardalote checking out the photographer - note the white spots on the crown and the yellow chin patch
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, August 2006]

Close-up frontal/ventral view of a male Spotted Pardalote
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, August 2015]

Frontal view of a male Spotted Pardalote (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, October 2021]

Close-up near-frontal view of a male Spotted Pardalote
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, August 2015]

Near-frontal view of a male Spotted Pardalote; here the chestnut rump characteristic of race "punctatus" is visible
(photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Cunningham's Gap, QLD, June 2017]

Close-up near-lateral view of a male Spotted Pardalote
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, November 2006]

Lateral view of a male Spotted Pardalote (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Peter Murrell Reserve, near Kingston, TAS, September 2021]

Lateral view of a male Spotted Pardalote
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, August 2006]

Lateral view of a male Spotted Pardalote (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Peter Murrell Reserve, near Kingston, TAS, September 2021]

Lateral/ventral view bringing out the brilliance of a male Spotted Pardalote's colours
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, August 2006]

Close-up lateral view of a male Spotted Pardalote
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2019]

Lateral/ventral view of a male Spotted Pardalote
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, August 2006]

Dorsal view of a male Spotted Pardalote approaching a waterhole
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2019]

Ventral view of a very relaxed preening male Spotted Pardalote
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, August 2006]

FEMALE

Close-up frontal view of a female Spotted Pardalote - note the yellow spots on the crown and the creamy chin patch
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, August 2015]

Frontal view of a preening female Spotted Pardalote ; the bird was extremely curious and came to check out the photographer, approaching to a distance of less than 2.5 m
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, August 2015]

Frontal view of a female Spotted Pardalote looking sideways
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2019]

Near-frontal view of a female Spotted Pardalote (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, July 2012]

Near-lateral view of a female Spotted Pardalote (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Peter Murrell Reserve, near Kingston, TAS, September 2021]

Near-lateral view of a female Spotted Pardalote (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Peter Murrell Reserve, near Kingston, TAS, September 2021]

Close-up lateral view of a female Spotted Pardalote
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2019]

Lateral view of a female Spotted Pardalote
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW , July 2012]

Close-up lateral view of a female Spotted Pardalote (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Moggill Regional Park, near Anstead, QLD, May 2019]

Close-up lateral view of a female Spotted Pardalote (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW , July 2012]

Lateral view of a preening female Spotted Pardalote
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW , July 2012]

Close-up lateral/ventral view of a female Spotted Pardalote
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, August 2019]

Ventral view of a female Spotted Pardalote
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW , July 2012]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of a juvenile Spotted Pardalote taking a psyllid
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW , July 2012]

Lateral view of a juvenile Spotted Pardalote approaching a waterhole
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, March 2009]

Lateral view of a fledgling Spotted Pardalote on the ground (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[St. Albans, NSW, October 2016]

Close-up near-dorsal view of a fledgling Spotted Pardalote looking sideways
[Dandry AA, NSW, October 2013]

Race "xanthophyge"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male Spotted Pardalote carrying food for its brood (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lane Poole Reserve, near Dwellingup, WA, October 2017]

Near-frontal view of a male Spotted Pardalote (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lane Poole Reserve, near Dwellingup, WA, October 2017]

Near-lateral view of a male Spotted Pardalote (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lane Poole Reserve, near Dwellingup, WA, October 2017]

Lateral view of a male Spotted Pardalote; note the yellow rump with chestnut lower margin typical for this race (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lane Poole Reserve, near Dwellingup, WA, October 2017]

Ventral view of a male Spotted Pardalote (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lane Poole Reserve, near Dwellingup, WA, October 2017]

FEMALE

Lateral view of a female Spotted Pardalote just outside its nest burrow (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lane Poole Reserve, near Dwellingup, WA, October 2017]

Race "millitaris"

ADULT

Sex unknown

Lateral/ventral view of a Spotted Pardalote (photo courtesy of J. Boettcher, FNQ Nature Tours)
[Mareeba, QLD, August 2020]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Jan Eggs: 3 - 4 Incubation period: 14 - 16 days Fledging age: ca. 21 - 28 days

Nest building: Female & male Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Proof positive that both male and female Spotted Pardalotes contribute to building their nest: Male on the left, female on the right (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Durikai SF, near Warwick, QLD, August 2017]

Dorsal view of a male Spotted Pardalote carrying nesting material (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Durikai SF, near Warwick, QLD, August 2017]

Near-frontal view of a female Spotted Pardalote carrying nesting material (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Durikai SF, near Warwick, QLD, August 2017]

Nest

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

Type: Tunnel with basket Material: Sandy soil, bark strips, grass Height above ground: N/A

Entrance to a Spotted Pardalote's nest dug out of the soft sand lining a gully that is part of a creek which only floods after extreme rainfall
[Rocky Creek, NSW, September 2008]

Spotted Pardalote's nest dug out of soft sand (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2015]

Spotted Pardalote burrow found when its occupants were still lining the nest (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2014]

Spotted Pardalote carrying lining material to its nest (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2014]

Different entrance to a Spotted Pardalote's nest; in this case the birds took advantage of a fallen tree's root system for protection - the entrance is the cavity on the right (see photo below)
[Pilliga NP, NSW, August 2013]

Female Spotted Pardalote entering the tunnel to its nest with nest material
[Pilliga NP, NSW, August 2013]

Pair of Spotted Pardalotes collecting nest material
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, August 2008]

Eggs

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

Size:16 x 13 mm Colour: White Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Sedentary/dispersive Elementary unit: Pair

Amongst Spotted Pardalotes, the males are definitely more curious than the females. Only when taking first photos of a female together with a male we noticed that previously we had always seen males that had come to check us out.

Lateral/ventral view of a curious male Spotted Pardalote raising its crown to form a small crest
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, May 2013]

Female Spotted Pardalote fluttering its wings; we have seen the behaviour in other species, where it signified a readiness to mate... (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Moggill Regional Park, near Anstead, QLD, May 2019]

... and the female Spotted Pardalote got a response, too; only it was an unexpected one, from a (male?) Striated Pardalote (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Moggill Regional Park, near Anstead, QLD, May 2019]

Food, Diet

Spotted Pardalotes forage through the foliage of trees for small insects. They feed mostly on psyllids and lerps.

Near-dorsal view of a female Spotted Pardalote taking a small spider
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW , July 2021]

Close-up lateral view of a female Spotted Pardalote at a waterhole
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2019]

Together with Striated Pardalotes, in a bunch of about 20-25 birds, Spotted Pardalotes were the first of the day observed by us to visit a waterhole before sunrise. Other bird species followed later.

Three of a mob of up to 20 Spotted Pardalotes visiting a local waterhole prior to sunrise (photo taken with a flash)
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, January 2009]

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.

spopard_20140612.m4a punctatus
(NW NSW)
Contact calls © MD
spopard_20180707.m4a punctatus
(NW NSW)
Contact calls (long sequence) © MD
spopard_20220528.m4a punctatus
(NW NSW)
Contact calls (Q&A) © MD
spopard_20230726.mp3 punctatus
(NW NSW)
Contact calls (Q&A) © MD

More Spotted Pardalote 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.