Birda Logo
loading...
A photo of a Brown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla)
Brown Thornbill

Brown Thornbill

Acanthiza pusilla

The Brown Thornbill, a diminutive bird with a warm brown to olive-brown upper body, is a charming sight in the eastern and southeastern Australian landscapes, including Tasmania. Its underparts are adorned with buff scallops on the forehead and a grey throat and breast with blackish streaks. The eyes are a striking dark red, and the rump and tail base are a tawny hue, with the tail featuring a black subterminal band and paler tips.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Brown Thornbill, look for its small stature, typically ranging from 9 to 10 cm in length and weighing a mere 7 grams. Its olive-buff to yellowish-white flanks, buff scallops on the forehead, and large dark red eyes are distinctive features. The blackish streaks on its grey throat and breast, along with the tawny rump and tail base, are also key identification markers.

Habitat

This species thrives in a variety of habitats, including dry forests with dense undergrowth, rainforests, shrublands, coastal dune thickets, and areas along rivers and creeks where rushes and bracken provide cover. They are most commonly found at elevations up to 1,200 meters.

Distribution

The Brown Thornbill is a resident of eastern and southeastern Australia, including Tasmania. It is typically found within 300 kilometers of the coast and is a common sight in the Blue Mountains.

Behaviour

The Brown Thornbill is a sedentary bird, often seen feeding restlessly close to the ground or in lower trees and shrubs. It is known to form mixed-species feeding flocks, particularly outside the breeding season.

Song & Calls

This species is a skilled mimic, capable of replicating the alarm calls of other birds to deter predators. Its own calls are a rich, musical warble, varying from mellow baritone to high whistles with rapid trills, and an assortment of squeaks and churrs.

Breeding

Brown Thornbill pairs tend to form long-lasting bonds. Their dome-shaped nests, with a hooded side-entrance, are crafted from grasses, bark, moss, and feathers or plant down, bound together with spider webs. They lay clutches of two to four eggs, with three being most common. The eggs are whitish with red-brown freckles and incubate for 19 days, with a nesting period of 16 days. Breeding season spans from July to January.

Similar Species

The Brown Thornbill shares part of its range with the Inland Thornbill, which can be found on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range and the Mt Lofty Ranges.

Diet and Feeding

Primarily insectivorous, the Brown Thornbill's diet includes spiders, beetles, lerp insects, ants, and grasshoppers. Occasionally, it may consume seeds, fruit, or nectar.

Conservation status

The Brown Thornbill is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, with a stable population. However, the King Island subspecies (A. p. archibaldi) is critically endangered, with a recovery program expected to be formulated to prevent its extinction.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Brown Thornbills on Birda

Photos
Sightings

More Australasian Warblers

A photo of a Inland Thornbill (Acanthiza apicalis)

Inland Thornbill

Acanthiza apicalis
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Safira V
Birding and wellbeing app
Birda is an excellent platform to share your love of Birding and is a great tool of encouragement for a Birding Beginner like me. Birda has a very kind and supportive community of Birding enthusiasts. For me BIRDA is not only a BIRDING but also a WELLBEING App.
Paul F
Very good database
Highly recommend. It great that this app shows you male Vs female variations when posting. Very good database I'm really impressed.
David C
Very knowledgeable group
Nice friendly birding community. Very knowledgeable group with a willingness to help.
BCHphotography_
Such a great app!
I didn’t think I could enjoy birding more but this app makes it so much better. Some great features and a really great way to share your sightings with your friends or fellow birders nearby or around the world! ❤️
D3Nature
Great app for learning Birds
I’ve been using the app for a couple of months and love it....Someone said it’s like a real life Pokémon Go for birds. They’re not far off! It’s something that the family can do that gets you out and about. Well worth downloading no matter your age.
Anonymous
The best bird logging app
Birda is honestly the best bird logging app I have seen. I love all the features it has from being able to do a session and log all the birds you see in one sitting, to being able to connect with other birders from all over the globe!
Dan R
Great app for bird fanatics
Great app for bird fanatics - very user friendly and a perfect place to share sightings.
Emcil24
A Friendly Place
I love using the bird app, I have a pretty good knowledge of birds. But I do have some gaps in it, so it’s nice to have a safe space to check on a sighting to confirm the species. It’s really enjoyable and I love the badges you can collect. It’s like a real life Pokémon go.
Erna M
I really like Birda
I really like Birda. I also use other birding apps and have Birda with E-bird going at the same time.
Nedz53
Really useful
Downloaded to give it a try, everything worked perfectly, recorded my first bird watching walk. Very impressed. Have already recommended to friends!
As featured in
Connect with nature,
Find your flock
Download Birda - QR Code
© 2024 All rights reserved