Brown Thornbill - Acanthiza pusilla

Brown Thornbill

Acanthiza pusilla

Family: Pardalotidae (Pardalotes, Bristlebirds, Scrubwrens, Thornbills and allies, 30 species in Australia)
Size: 10 cm
Distribution: Within about 300 km of the coasts of NSW, South QLD, Most of VIC and TAS, small parts of SE SA
Status: Common to Locally Uncommon
Habitat: Most forested areas where there is enough undergrowth
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

The Brown Thornbill is a very common bird in the Blue Mountains of NSW. They almost always appear in flocks of several birds up to dozens of them. They are hard to get good photos of since they move around so often so I was stoked when I got these ones.

I am fairly sure these photos are Brown Thornbills rather than Striated Thornbills (or another Thornbill) due to the rufous (reddish-brown) around the rump and inner tail, and especially due to the reddish coloured eye. According to Simpson and Day there is no other Thornbill or related bird with a reddish brown eye in the East of New South Wales. The Striated Thornbill is also common in the Blue Mountains and I find it hard to tell the difference, without a close up of the eye like in the photo below.

Brown Thornbill - Acanthiza pusilla
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW. High Resolution (1972 x 1450)

Brown Thornbill - Acanthiza pusilla
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW. High Resolution (1370 x 997)

Brown Thornbill - Acanthiza pusilla
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW. High Resolution (1674 x 1162)

Brown Thornbill - Acanthiza pusilla
Artwork: John Gould, 'The Birds of Australia', 1848. Original Scanned Image.

Some Birdwatching Resources

Know Your Birds, by Louise Egerton - Brown Thornbill - Acanthiza pusilla NEW: Know Your Birds, by Louise Egerton.

Revised edition 3 July 2019. Paperback / softback, 176 pages. It has an orange cover. The original edition was 2005 and has a blue cover. Some of the book sellers listed here show the photo from the original/older blue cover edition, but the rest of the info (including the publication date and ISBN) are from the newer revised 2019 edition, so presumably that's the one you'll get.

This book has very high quality large photographs of the birds (as in actual photographs). Most of the photos take up a whole page for each bird photograph. "Know Your Birds" only has a selection of the most common birds, and not all the birds that are found in Australia. This makes it very good for beginners — since most of the field guides have all the birds — and it can be confusing looking at six almost identical species of birds, not knowing that five of them are rare and it's probably the common one that you're looking for. Which would be the only one listed in this book.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase from Australia (The Nile)

Purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

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