Natural Newstead

Over the next few weeks I thought I would do a series on LBBs – Little Brown Birds. These are those tiny songbirds that even some keen ‘birdos’ refuse to try and identify. Things to look for include bill shape, eye colour, streaking on the head, face and underparts as well as habitat and behaviour. At the moment we have a couple of ‘LBBs’ in the garden – the Weebill and Striated Thornbill. Both are of similar size although the WeebillSmicrornis brevirostris is considered Australia’s smallest songbird. The thing to look for (spotting character) is the short, stubby bill, much blunter than that of the thornbills and the pale iris. The Striated ThornbillAcanthiza lineata has a fine, spikey bill with distinctive white streaks on the crown and ear-coverts.

Weebills and Thornbills belong to a diverse group of Australian warblers and have wonderful calls for such tiny birds. The Weebill has a remarkably powerful voice while Striated Thornbills tend to call…

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