Willie Wagtail - Willy Wagtail - Rhipidura leucophrys

Willie Wagtail

Rhipidura leucophrys

Other Names: Willy Wagtail
Rhipidurinae (Fantails, 5 species in Australia)
Size: 19-22 cm
Distribution: All of Australia except the southernmost 2/3 of TAS
Status: Abundant to Common
Habitat: Everywhere except very wet forests
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

A well known bird, the Willie Wagtail is well dressed in black and white and tails. It shakes its tail from side to side and sings a song that is meant to sound like it is saying "Sweet pretty creature". Apart from that call it also makes chip chip chip noises when it is alarmed or when it wants you to go away.

Willie Wagtail - Willy Wagtail - Rhipidura leucophrys
Photo: Wentworth Falls Lake, Blue Mountains NSW

Some Birdwatching Resources

Field Guide to Australian Birds, by Michael Morcombe Field Guide to Australian Birds, by Michael Morcombe. This one has colour drawings of the eggs and the nests which not many other field guides do (I can't think of any that do). It's an excellent field guide and one of the four main ones (the other three being above this one). The weakness of this field guide is that some of the pictures of the birds aren't as good (or accurate) as the other three most used field guides. It's also the heaviest though there is a pocket edition which is much smaller and lighter.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Birdsong, Don Stap Birdsong, Don Stap. From the promotional material: "Following one of the world's experts on birdsong from the woods of Martha's Vineyard to the tropical forests of Central America, Don Stap brings to life the quest to unravel an ancient mystery: Why do birds sing and what do their songs mean? We quickly discover that one question leads to another. Why does the chestnut-sided warbler sing one song before dawn and another after sunrise? Why does the brown thrasher have a repertoire of two thousand songs when the chipping sparrow has only one? And how is the hermit thrush able to sing a duet with itself, producing two sounds simultaneously to create its beautiful, flutelike melody?"

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to purchase from Wilderness Awareness School $24.00 USD (May not work)

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

Return to Australian Birds
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