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Inland thornbill facts for kids

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Inland thornbill
Inland Thornbill (5669197054) - edit.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Genus:
Acanthiza
Species:
apicalis
Subspecies
  • A. a. cinerascens - Schodde & Mason, IJ, 1999
  • A. a. whitlocki - North, 1909
  • A. a. apicalis - Gould, 1847
  • A. a. albiventris - North, 1904

The inland thornbill (Acanthiza apicalis), called the broad-tailed thornbill, is a small, insect-eating bird of Australia. The inland thornbill is commonly confused with the coastal brown thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla) due to its similar colorations. The inland thornbill encompasses four subspecies:

  • Acanthiza apicalis albiventris
  • Acanthiza apicalis apicalis, the nominate subsp.
  • Acanthiza apicalis cinerascens
  • Acanthiza apicalis whitlocki, Whitlock's tit. Originally described as a species of Acanthiza by A. J. North, who was requested to honour the collector of its specimens, F. Lawson Whitlock, by the sponsor of the expedition, H. L. White.

The inland thornbill ranges in size from 9 to 11 centimetres, averaging 10 centimetres and 7 grams. The bird has a grey-brown back, a reddish rump, and a dark tail with a white tip. Its underbelly is cream colored with black streaks. Both male and female thornbills look similar, though male birds tend to be a bit larger.

Breeding season lasts from July through December. Female thornbills average three eggs per clutch, which incubate for 19 days. Baby birds leave the nest after 17 days.

The inland thornbill can be found throughout Australia inland of the Great Dividing Range, but not in tropical northern climates or in Tasmania. The inland thornbill overlaps in range with the brown thornbill along the Great Dividing Range, leading to numerous mis-sightings. Inland thornbills live in dry scrublands and woodlands. In Southwestern Australia, they also inhabit sand heaths and karri and jarrah forests. It feeds on small insects and spiders, and occasionally seeds and small vegetable matter, beneath shrubs and in foliage.

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