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22

Varied Triller

(Lalage leucomela)
Alternate name(s): "Pied Caterpillar-eater", "White-eyebrowed Caterpillar-eater", "White-browed Triller"
Size: 18-20 cm

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 Varied Triller at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "leucomela"

ADULT

MALE

Lateral view of a male Varied Triller (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Copeland, NSW, February 2013]

FEMALE

Near-ventral view of a (probably) female Varied Triller
[Broadwater NP, NSW, May 2014]

Race "rufiventris"

ADULT

MALE

Near-lateral view of a male Varied Triller (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Casuarina Coastal Reserve, Darwin, NT, July 2012]

Partly obscured lateral view of a male Varied Triller
[East Point, Darwin, NT, August 2014]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female Varied Triller
[East Point, Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Frontal view of a female Varied Triller (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Holmes Jungle NR, Darwin, NT, August 2013]

Lateral view of the same female Varied Triller as shown above (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Holmes Jungle NR, Darwin, NT, August 2013]

Distant lateral view of a female Varied Triller (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Casuarina Coastal Reserve, Darwin, NT, July 2012]

Ventral view of a female Varied Triller
[East Point, Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Race "yorki"

ADULT

MALE

Lateral view of a male Varied Triller with its prey, in this case a caterpillar (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Rocky Creek, Cairns, QLD, July 2013]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Dec Eggs: 1 Incubation period: ? Fledging age: ?

The period listed in the table above for the breeding season is a core range; the breeding season depends on geographic latitude and in favourable conditions it can extend to about March.

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

Nest

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

Type: Basket Material: Root fibres, vine tendrils, webs Height above ground: ?

Female Varied Triller collecting nest material, in this case very fine root firbres (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, December 2016]

Eggs

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

Size: 26 x 18 mm Colour: White, with grey to grey-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Note that the single egg of a Varied Triller is very large compared to the size of the bird (and its tiny nest).

Food, Diet

Varied Trillers feed on small insects, including caterpillars.

Like other insect eaters, Varied Trillers kill their prey first, before devouring it; here a female Varied Triller whacking a caterpillar against the branch it is sitting on
[East Point, Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Like other insect eaters, Varied Trillers kill their prey first, before devouring it; here a female Varied Triller whacking a caterpillar against the branch it is sitting on
[East Point, Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Like other insect eaters, Varied Trillers kill their prey first, before devouring it; here a female Varied Triller whacking a caterpillar against the branch it is sitting on
[East Point, Darwin, NT, August 2014]

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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