Sunday, 8 May 2011


Smicrornis brevirostris

Photo by Robin Eckermann (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
weebill (en); gerígono-de-bico-curto (pt); gérygone à bec court (fr); gerigón piquicorto (es); stutzschnabel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Acanthizidae

The weebill is endemic to Australia, being found throughout mainland Australia with the exception of some of the most arid areas in the centre.

These tiny birds are 8-9 cm long and weigh just 6 g.

The weebill inhabits almost any wooded area, with the exception of the wettest forests. They favour open eucalypt forests spending of their time in the canopy.

They forage in flocks, mainly feeding in the outer edges of the tops of trees. They take a variety of small insects and their larvae, which they glean from the leaves.

Weebills breed in May-July. The nest is a neatly woven dome, made from grasses and other fine vegetation. It has a narrow spout-like entrance towards the top and the interior of the nest is lined with feathers and soft vegetable matter. The female lays 2-3 cream-coloured eggs with brown speckles, which she incubates alone for 12 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 10 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
Although the global population size has not been quantified, the species is reported to be common and widespread over its large breeding range.This population is in decline owing to ongoing habitat loss and degradation, but the species is not considered threatened at present.

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