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Chowchilla facts for kids

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Naturalis Biodiversity Center - RMNH.AVES.146838 1 - Orthonyx spaldingii Ramsay, 1868 - Turdidae - bird skin specimen.jpeg
Conservation status
Scientific classification

The chowchilla (Orthonyx spaldingii) is a passerine bird in the family Orthonychidae. It is endemic to Australia.

Near Mount Lewis – Australia


In their 1999 study, Schodde and Mason recognise two adjoining subspecies, O. s. spaldingii and O. s. melasmenus with a zone of intergradation.


Unmistakable thrush-like, ground-dwelling, birds. Males and females largely dark brown with white eye-ring, tail-feather shafts extend as spines beyond feather-vanes; males with white throat, breast and belly; females with bright rufous throat and upper breast, white lower breast and belly.

Distribution and habitat

The chowchilla is restricted to upland and lowland tropical rainforests of north-eastern Queensland.


Chowchilla Orthonyx spaldingii (male)
Orthonyx spaldingii (male)


Mainly invertebrates, but also small vertebrates.


Continuous chattering, singing and other complex vocalisations.


Nests on or near ground, often on ferns, stumps or logs. Builds a bulky, dome-shaped stick-nest with a clutch of one, possibly sometimes two, white eggs.

  • BirdLife International. (2007). Species factsheet: Orthonyx spaldingii. Downloaded from [1] on 9 August 2007
  • Higgins, P.J.; & Peter, J.M. (eds). (2003). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 6: Pardalotes to Shrike-thrushes. Oxford University Press: Melbourne. ISBN: 0-19-553762-9

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Orthonyx spaldingii para niños

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