Eastern Spinebill - Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris

Eastern Spinebill

Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris

Family: Meliphagidae (Honeyeaters, 74 species in Australia)
Size: 13-16 cm
Distribution: Within about 300 km of the coasts of NSW, VIC, Southern QLD and a tiny part of Southeast SA, all of TAS
Status: Common
Habitat: Heaths, forests with heaths; shrubby gardens
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

The Eastern Spinebill is an extremely common bird in gardens in the Blue Mountains. It has a distinctive call which sounds a bit like "sawing" (it makes sense when you hear it), and a more common call which is a series of "bip bip bip bip bip bip bip bip bip" notes, very fast and all the same.

The Eastern Spinebill never stays in the one place very long, and it buries itself inside the flowery bushes that it eats from so it is harder to get a good photo than it should be for such a common bird.

Eastern Spinebill - Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW

Eastern Spinebill - Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW

Eastern Spinebill - Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW

Eastern Spinebill - Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
Artwork: John Gould, 'The Birds of Australia', 1848. Original Scanned Image.

Some Birdwatching Resources

Birds of Australia: A Photographic Guide, by Iain Campbell, Sam Woods, Nick Leseberg, Geoff Jones (Photographer) - Eastern Spinebill - Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris NEW: Birds of Australia: A Photographic Guide, by Iain Campbell, Sam Woods, Nick Leseberg, Geoff Jones (Photographer).

I bought this field guide recently (June 2020). As the name suggests, it's got photographs rather than line drawings. They are very high quality, clear photos. I've got so many field guides now, they have to be really good before I buy them (I got it from a physical book shop, so I was able to look through it thoroughly before deciding whether or not to get it).

From the publisher:

Australia is home to a spectacular diversity of birdlife, from parrots and penguins to emus and vibrant passerines. Birds of Australia covers all 714 species of resident birds and regularly occurring migrants and features more than 1,100 stunning color photographs, including many photos of subspecies and plumage variations never before seen in a field guide. Detailed facing-page species accounts describe key identification features such as size, plumage, distribution, behavior, and voice. This one-of-a-kind guide also provides extensive habitat descriptions with a large number of accompanying photos. The text relies on the very latest IOC taxonomy and the distribution maps incorporate the most current mapping data, making this the most up-to-date guide to Australian birds.

  • Covers all 714 species of resident birds and regularly occurring migrants
  • Features more than 1,100 stunning color photos
  • Includes facing-page species accounts, habitat descriptions, and distribution maps
  • The ideal photographic guide for beginners and seasoned birders alike

NOTE: This is the only field guide for Australian birds that I've seen which lists the size of each bird in both centimetres and inches. So if you're much more familiar with inches than centimetres, this would be the best Australian bird field guide to get just for that reason.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase from Australia (The Nile)

Purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

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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