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17

Weebill

(Smicrornis brevirostris)
Alternate name(s): "Scrub-tit", "Tree-tit", "Brown Weebill", "Yellow Weebill", "Short-billed Scrub-tit"
Aboriginal name(s): "kiderbot" (WA)

Size: 8.5-9.5 cm
Weight: 4-8 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 Weebill at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "brevirostris"

ADULT

Close-up frontal view of a Weebill (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Dripping Rock, near Maules Creek, NSW, October 2012]

Frontal view of a Weebill
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, August 2011]

Different posture of the same Weebill as shown above
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, August 2011]

"Head-on" view of a Weebill (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Dripping Rock, near Maules Creek, NSW, October 2012]

Near-lateral view of a Weebill
[February 2008]

Lateral view of a Weebill
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, October 2013]

Lateral view of a Weebill launching itself into the air
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, October 2013]

Dorsal view of a Weebill looking back
[Bugilbone, NSW, December 2015]

Ventral view of a Weebill
[Between Pilliga and Burren Junction, NSW, May 2018]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Juvenile Weebill foraging on its own; this bird was seen and heard around our place for several weeks, always alone; its calls were recorded on 7 February 2015
[Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2015]

Two fledgling Weebills waiting to be fed
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, June 2008]

Two fledgling Weebills waiting to be fed
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, June 2008]

Race "occidentalis"

ADULT

Frontal view of a Weebill
[Arkaroola, SA, March 2008]

Frontal view of a Weebill
[Arkaroola, SA, March 2008]

Frontal view of a Weebill (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Koondoola Reserve, Perth, WA, July 2016]

Near-frontal view of a Weebill looking down
[Arkaroola, SA, March 2008]

Near-lateral view of a Weebill (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Koondoola Reserve, Perth, WA, July 2016]

Lateral view of a Weebill with its head turned towards the observer
[Arkaroola, SA, March 2008]

Lateral view of a Weebill (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Koondoola Reserve, Perth, WA, July 2016]

Lateral view of a Weebill (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Between Berri and Renmark, SA, September 2018]

Race "flavescens"

ADULT

Near-frontal view of a Weebill (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Lake Argyle, near Kununurra, WA, April 2018]

Near-frontal view of a Weebill (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Lake Argyle, near Kununurra, WA, April 2018]

Near-lateral view of a Weebill (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Lake Argyle, near Kununurra, WA, April 2018]

Lateral view of a Weebill (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Lake Argyle, near Kununurra, WA, April 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a Weebill (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Lake Argyle, near Kununurra, WA, April 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a Weebill (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Marrakai track, NT, August 2013]

View from below of a Weebill
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, August 2014]

Breeding information

Breeding season: July - May Eggs: 2 - 3 Incubation period: 10 - 12 days Fledging age: ?

The breeding season of Weebills depends on geographic latitude and climatic conditions. They can breed almost any time of the year.

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

Nest

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

Type: Dome Material: Grass, soft plant fibres, cobwebs Height above ground: 3 - ? m

Nests of Weebills are placed in the tops of live trees and shrubs, usually concealed in dense foliage.

View from below of a Weebill nest in the top of a young eucalypt, showing clearly the side entrance
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2018]

From the side, even when standing at the level of the tree crown, the same Weebill nest as shown above is hard to find
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2018]

Weebill nest right at the top of a young tree
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, October 2018]

Weebill nest right at the top of a young tree
[Bullawa Creek SCA, NSW, October 2018]

Weebill that flew straight to this point on a steep creek bank to harvest the web of a small spider for binding its nest
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2018]

Weebill harvesting the web of a small spider for binding its nest
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2018]

Eggs

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

Size: 15 x 11 mm Colour: Creamy, with greyish-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

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

Food, Diet

Weebills forage through the foliage in the crowns of trees for small insects.

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.

weebill_20140929.mp3 brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Contact calls(?) © MD
weebill_20141002_3.mp3 brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Contact call? © MD
weebill_20140110_3.mp3 brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Contact call? (partial) © MD
weebill_20140319.mp3 brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Contact call? © MD
weebill_20170920.m4a brevirostris
(W NSW)
Contact calls (Q&A) © MD
weebill_20140207.mp3 brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Feeding calls © MD
weebill_20150207.mp3 brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Immature foraging © MD
weebill_20170920_2.m4a brevirostris
(W NSW)
Various © MD
weebill_20140110_4.mp3 brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Various © MD
weebill_20161119.mp3 brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Various © MD
weebill_20161119_2.mp3 brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Various © MD
weebill_20150214.mp3 brevirostris
(NW NSW)
? (Immature) © MD
weebill_20180902.m4a brevirostris
(NW NSW)
? © MD
 
weebill_jg_20160710.m4a occidentalis
(SW WA)
Feeding calls & contact call © JG
 
weebill_pb_20180708.m4a flavescens
(Top End, NT)
Contact call © PB
weebill_pb_20180606_3.m4a flavescens
(Top End, NT)
Contact call © PB
weebill_20140818.m4a flavescens
(Top End, NT)
Contact call © MD
weebill_pb_20180606_2.m4a flavescens
(Top End, NT)
Contact calls © PB
weebill_pb_20180606.m4a flavescens
(Top End, NT)
Various © PB
Click here for more recordings

We have also recorded a Weebill's wing beat.

weebill_20180902_2.m4a brevirostris
(NW NSW)
Level flight © 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.

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