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17

Yellow-rumped Thornbill

(Acanthiza chrysorrhoa)
Alternate name(s): "Yellow-tailed Thornbill", "Yellow-rumped Tit", "Yellow-rumped Tit-Warbler", "Yellow-tail", "Chigaree"
Aboriginal name(s): Race "chrysorrhoa": "djidbot"

Size: 11-12 cm
Weight: 8-10 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 Yellow-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 "chrysorrhoa"

ADULT

Lateral view of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Manjimup, WA, March 2015]

Lateral view of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill collecting nest material (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Bibra Lake, near Perth, WA, September 2016]

Dorsal view of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Manjimup, WA, March 2015]

Race "leighi"

ADULT

Frontal view of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill
[Near Bugilbone, NSW, May 2017]

Frontal view of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill looking for insects
[Near Bugilbone, NSW, May 2017]

Near-lateral view of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill
[Near Bugilbone, NSW, May 2017]

Near-lateral view of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill, different posture
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2015]

Lateral view of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill
[Near Bugilbone, NSW, May 2017]

Lateral view of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2016]

Lateral view of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2015]

Lateral view of a slightly dazed Yellow-rumped Thornbill that had a run-in with a window pane, but in the end recovered
[Eulah Creek, NSW, June 2009]

Lateral view of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill, different posture
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2016]

Yellow-rumped Thornbill trying to decide whether or not to go for another skinny-dip... (photo courtesy of A. Campbell)
[Mount McEuen, QLD, November 2016]

Dorsal view, with a very clear view of the yellow rump giving Yellow-rumped Thornbills their name
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2012]

Here another clear view of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill's yellow rump (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

The same Yellow-rumped Thornbill as shown above, now seen sideways (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

Normally, even in a dorsal view, the yellow rump of Yellow-rumped Thornbills is hidden under the folded wings
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2013]

View from above onto the crown of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2011]

Close-range shot of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill on our lawn
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, February 2006]

Here another Yellow-rumped Thornbill seen foraging on the ground
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2011]

Yellow-rumped Thornbill in evening sunlight
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, September 2006]

Here a Yellow-rumped Thornbill just out of the bathtub
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2007]

Yellow-rumped Thornbills gasping on a 40 C hot day
[20 km South of Narrabri, NSW, 2006]

Yellow-rumped Thornbill taking a bath
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2012]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of a fledgling Yellow-rumped Thornbill
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2013]

Lateral view of a fledgling Yellow-rumped Thornbill (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Gilgandra Flora Reserve, NSW, September 2013]

Near-dorsal view of a fledgling Yellow-rumped Thornbill (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)
[Gilgandra Flora Reserve, NSW, September 2013]

This little rascal, a fledgling Yellow-rumped Thornbill on its first day outside the nest, was very active; while its siblings were still in the nest (and the parents trying to feed everybody) this active youngster was all about our garden, flying distances of up to 30 m in one go - here a near-frontal view
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2012]

Near-lateral view of the same fledgling Yellow-rumped Thornbill as shown above; it is one of the clutch out of the fancy nest in the palm fruit shown below
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2012]

Fledgling Yellow-rumped Thornbill demanding to be fed by one of its parents
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2013]

Fledgling Yellow-rumped Thornbills waiting to be fed; that year there were only two chicks
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2013]

Fledgling Yellow-rumped Thornbills waiting to be fed
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2013]

Race "leachi"

ADULT

Frontal view of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill in a meadow (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Bruny Island, TAS, March 2016]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Jul - Dec Eggs: 3 - 4 Incubation period: 18 days Fledging age: ca. 14 - 21 days

Nest

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

Type: Hanging bottle Material: Grass, root fibres, webs Height above ground: 1 - 8 m

This Yellow-rumped Thornbill nest in dense foliage of a eucalypt in our garden was quite high, about 8 m above ground
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

Yellow-rumped Thornbill collecting lining material for the nest shown above
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2011]

Fruit stand of an ornamental palm hiding a fancy Yellow-rumped Thornbill nest
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2012]

Closer look into the fruitstand from a slightly different angle showing parts of the Yellow-rumped Thornbill nest
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2012]

Adult Yellow-rumped Thornbill approaching its nest
[Eulah Creek, NSW, October 2012]

Early in the 2014 breeding season, the clan of Yellow-rumped Thornbills on our property chose a black pine for nesting
[Eulah Creek, NSW, July 2014]

Eggs

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

Size: 18 x 13 mm Colour: White, with light-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

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

(Next to Buff-rumped Thornbills,) Yellow-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.

Yellow-rumped Thornbills like taking a shower, here under one of our garden sprinklers
[Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2013]

Food, Diet

Like all other members of the Acanthiza family, Yellow-rumped Thornbills hunt for small insects. We have also seen one taking a relatively large spider (see photos below). As opposed to most other thornbills, they are often found hunting on the ground, not only in the leaf litter of forests, but also in open grassland.

This Yellow-rumped Thornbill has caught a spider
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2011]

Here one can see that the Yellow-rumped Thornbill has in fact killed the spider
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2011]

Yellow-rumped Thornbill hunting for small insects in an Acacia salicina
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 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.

yrthbil_20140401.mp3 leighi
(NW NSW)
Contact call? © MD
yrthbil_20140112.mp3 leighi
(NW NSW)
Contact call? © MD
yrthbil_20140715_3.mp3 leighi
(NW NSW)
Contact call? © MD
yrthbil_20140715_6.mp3 leighi
(NW NSW)
? (near nest) © MD
yrthbil_20140727.mp3 leighi
(NW NSW)
? (near nest) © MD
yrthbil_20140722.mp3 leighi
(NW NSW)
? (near nest) © MD
yrthbil_20140715_7.mp3 leighi
(NW NSW)
? © MD

We have also recorded the wing beat of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill.

yrthbil_20140715_5.mp3 leighi
(NW NSW)
Straight, 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.

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