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

The Australian Bird Guide, by Peter Menkhorst (Author), Danny Rogers (Author), Rohan Clarke (Author), Jeff Davies (Illustrator), Peter Marsack (Illustrator), Kim Franklin (Illustrator) - Brown Thornbill - Acanthiza pusilla NEW: The Australian Bird Guide, by Peter Menkhorst (Author), Danny Rogers (Author), Rohan Clarke (Author), Jeff Davies (Illustrator), Peter Marsack (Illustrator), Kim Franklin (Illustrator).

Revised Edition 2019. Original edition published 2017. This is a newer Australian bird field guide that I just got recently. It may be the best one out of all of them now. Though I still like the pictures better in "Simpson and Day" in terms of their artistic value, and that they just look more interesting to me than the drawings in any other bird field guide I've seen. This one has more "clinical" looking pictures. They are coloured artist-rendered drawings, not photographs. Though the more "clinical" look is meant to be more anatomically accurate, and better for identification.

The rest of the book is wonderful, with different coloured regions on the range maps, and very high quality information overall. It was the winner in its category for an Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) award for book of the year in 2018.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

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Purchase from Amazon.com (USA Site)

Purchase from Amazon.com.au (Australian Site)

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

Return to Australian Birds
Return to Site Map

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