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A photo of a Lemon-bellied Flyrobin (Microeca flavigaster)
Lemon-bellied Flyrobin

Lemon-bellied Flyrobin

Microeca flavigaster

The Lemon-bellied Flyrobin, known scientifically as Microeca flavigaster, is a diminutive bird, measuring approximately 11.5 centimeters in length. Exhibiting a charming plumage, both sexes are similarly adorned. The bird's underparts are a striking lemon yellow, complemented by a pristine white throat. Its face is a soft grey with a distinctive white eyebrow stripe, while the upperparts are an olive-brown hue.

Identification Tips

To identify this species, look for the lemon yellow underparts and white throat, which are key distinguishing features. The grey face with a white eyebrow stripe and olive-brown upperparts are also characteristic. Note the variations among subspecies, such as the white underparts and more greyish upperparts of the Kimberley Flyrobin, or subspecies tormenti, which also boasts a longer bill and tail.

Habitat

The Lemon-bellied Flyrobin frequents a variety of habitats, including subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and mangrove forests. It is also found in paperbark swamp forests and woodlands, demonstrating a preference for lush, vegetated environments.

Distribution

This species is distributed across Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Within Australia, its range extends from the Ord River in the west to coastal Queensland.

Behaviour

The Lemon-bellied Flyrobin is an active insectivore, adept at hunting prey within the foliage or on dead branches of trees and shrubs. It is less commonly observed foraging on the ground. The bird employs a hunting technique known as hawking or sallying to catch insects, occasionally capturing larger prey over 2 centimeters in length.

Breeding

Breeding occurs throughout the bird's range from August to February, with the potential for one or two broods per season. The nest is a modest dish-shaped structure crafted from bark and grasses, situated in the fork of a tree. The species lays a single pale blue egg adorned with brownish markings, measuring 19 by 14 millimeters.

Similar Species

The Lemon-bellied Flyrobin may be confused with other flyrobin species, but its lemon yellow underparts and white throat are distinctive. The Kimberley Flyrobin, or subspecies tormenti, may be differentiated by its white underparts and lack of yellow pigmentation.

Diet and Feeding

As an insectivore, the Lemon-bellied Flyrobin's diet consists primarily of insects, which it skillfully captures from trees and shrubs. Its foraging behavior is a testament to its agility and precision as a hunter.

Conservation status

The Lemon-bellied Flyrobin is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating that it is not at immediate risk of population decline or habitat loss at a global scale.

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