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26

Australian Reed-Warbler

(Acrocephalus australis)
Alternate name(s): "Clamorous Reed-warbler", "Long-billed Reed-Warbler", "Reedbird"; Misnomers: "Water-sparrow", "Reedlark", "Nightingale*"
Aboriginal name(s): Race "gouldi": "koordjikotji" (WA)

Size: 16-17 cm
Weight: 18 g (average)

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 Australian Reed-Warbler at Wikipedia .

Click here for classification information

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "australis"

ADULT

Full-frontal view of an Australian Reed-Warbler with its prey
[Old Quipolly Dam, near Quirindi, NSW, December 2016]

Frontal view of an Australian Reed-Warbler
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, September 2007]

Frontal view of an Australian Reed-Warbler; slightly different posture
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, September 2007]

Frontal view of an Australian Reed-Warbler issuing its call (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2014]

Lateral view of an Australian Reed-Warbler (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2014]

Lateral view of an Australian Reed-Warbler
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, September 2007]

Lateral view of an Australian Reed-Warbler; different light conditions
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2012]

Lateral view of an Australian Reed-Warbler; here seen raising an intruder alarm
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2012]

Lateral view of an Australian Reed-Warbler hunting in reeds
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, December 2010]

Dorsal view of an Australian Reed-Warbler
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, December 2010]

Dorsal view of an Australian Reed-Warbler hiding in reeds
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, June 2012]

Australian Reed-Warbler launching itself into the air (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2014]

Lateral view of an Australian Reed-Warbler in flight (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, October 2014]

Australian Reed-Warbler using algal growth to support its weight
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, September 2010]

Soaking wet Australian Reed-Warbler straight out of the bath tub
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2015]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Fledgling Australian Reed-Warbler waiting to be fed; this is one of the juveniles whose calls were recorded on 18 December 2016
[Old Quipolly Dam, near Quirindi, NSW, December 2016]

Here an Australian Reed-Warbler that looks a bit ruffled, possibly a young bird
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, January 2011]

Slightly unsharp near-frontal view of a juvenile Australian Reed-Warbler waiting to be fed
[Old Quipolly Dam, near Quirindi, NSW, December 2016]

Close-up near-dorsal view of a juvenile Australian Reed-Warbler
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2012]

Two juvenile Australian Reed-Warblers waiting to be fed
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2012]

Two juvenile Australian Reed-Warblers being fed
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2012]

Juvenile Australian Reed-Warbler hiding in lignum, waiting to be fed
[Near Burren Junction, NSW, November 2013]

Race "gouldi"

ADULT

Lateral view of an Australian Reed-Warbler (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Herdsman Lake, Perth, WA, January 2015]

Lateral view of an Australian Reed-Warbler; note the greyish appearance of this bird in dark conditions (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Herdsman Lake, Perth, WA, January 2015]

Near-dorsal view of an Australian Reed-Warbler (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Herdsman Lake, Perth, WA, January 2015]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Dec Eggs: 3 - 4 Incubation period: 14 - 15 days Fledging age: 14 - 16 days

The breeding season can be extended inland depending on rainfall.

Nest

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

Type: Basket Material: Reeds Height above ground: 0.5 - 1 m

Nest that is becoming visible at the end of the breeding season, when reeds thin out
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, April 2011]

Eggs

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

Size: 20 x 14 mm Colour: White, with dark-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Sedentary Elementary unit: Pair

Food, Diet

Adults: Insects, spiders Dependents: Like adults Water intake: ?

Like all warblers of the Acrocephalus family known to us, Australian Reed-Warblers feed on insects that they catch in flight or pick from reeds.

Australian Reed-Warbler with its prey, an insect
[Old Quipolly Dam, near Quirindi, NSW, December 2016]

This Australian Reed-Warbler has caught not an insect, but what looks like a spider
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2012]

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.

clmrwrb_art_20131215.mp3 (SE QLD) Territorial calls © ART
clmrwrb_20150130.mp3 (SE QLD) Territorial calls © MD
clmrwrb_art_20131214.mp3 (SE QLD) Warning call © ART
clmrwrb_20161218.mp3 (NW NSW) Adult with begging juveniles © MD
clmrwrb_20151222_3.mp3 (NW NSW) Adult with begging juveniles © 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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