Grey Grasswren

Amytornis barbatus

The grey grasswren (Amytornis barbatus) is a passerine bird in the Australasian wren family, Maluridae. It is found on arid inland floodplains of Australia where it is endemic. The grey grasswren is a rarely seen elusive bird that was first sighted in 1921 but not taxonomically described until 1968. Its greyish coloration and very long tail distinguish it from all other grasswrens. While some recent research has been conducted, there still remain many gaps in the knowledge about the ecology of this cryptic bird. The grey grasswren is a small bird with a length ranging between 18 and 20 cm, a wing span of approximately 21 cm and a weight between 15 and 23 g. Its general colour is ginger-brown suffused with grey and off-white striations. Schrodde and Christidis recorded that "the face is patterned black and white with broad white superciliary stripe and black stripe from lores through eyes linked to thin black malar line around sides of throat; tail greatly attenuated with tapered rectrices, the center pair of which extend > 5mm beyond the adjacent pair; no sexual dimorphism in colour of flanks or belly". Juvenile color is duller although similar to the adults and with no distinct facial pattern. Moult is poorly understood but thought to occur annually after breeding and between October and December.
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