Striated Thornbill, Acanthiza lineata Click to enlarge image
Striated Thornbill, Acanthiza lineata Image: SG Lane
© SG Lane

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    lineata
    Genus
    Acanthiza
    Family
    Pardalotidae
    Order
    Passeriformes
    Class
    Aves
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia

Identification

The Striated Thornbill is a medium-sized thornbill with greenish upperparts, an orange-brown cap, streaked distinctively with white and off-white to cream underparts, heavily streaked on chin, throat and breast. The sexes are similar and young birds are only slightly different to adults, with less streaking on the underside.

Distribution

The Striated Thornbill is found only in south-eastern mainland Australia from southern Queensland to eastern South Australia.

Habitat

The Striated Thornbill is found in open forests and woodlands, mainly those dominated by eucalypts, with a well-developed understorey. Sometimes seen in parks and gardens, preferring areas that are more than ten years old. Also common in agricultural areas, particularly in areas with remnant patches or tree corridors near forests or woodlands.

Feeding & Diet

The Striated Thornbill feeds mainly on insects, but may sometimes eat seeds, nectar or fruit. They mainly feed in trees in small flocks, but may sometimes feed on the ground. Will be seen feeding in mixed flocks with other small insect-eating birds. Striated Thornbills may be important in reducing psyllid infestations after Bell Miners (which 'farm' the psyllids) have been removed from an area.

Communication

High-pitched insect-like calls: 'tiziz-tiziz'.

Breeding

Striated Thornbills breed in small related groups, defending a particular nesting territory. Both members of a pair of Striated Thornbills help to build the oval, domed nest, with a hooded entrance near the top, out of bark mixed with lichen, mosses and spider webs and egg sacs (the nest is commonly covered with white material), lining it with feathers, fur or soft plant down. The nest is usually in the outer branches of trees, shrubs and vine-covered saplings, mainly of eucalypts. The female incubates the eggs and both parents feed the young, along with other members of the breeding group. Nests may be parasitised by Horsfield's and Shining Bronze-cuckoos, as well as Fan-tailed Cuckoos.

Breeding Season: June to March.

The Striated Thornbill is adversely affected by logging and eucalypt dieback.