Friday, 2 March 2012

Striated grasswren

Amytornis striatus

Photo by Gary Oliver (The Great Aussie Birdshoot)

Common name:
striated grasswren (en); carriça-australiana-estriada (pt); amytis strié (fr)maluro estriado (es); streifengrasschlüpfer (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Maluridae

This species is endemic to Australia, being found from New South Wales to Western Australia with a small separate population in Queensland.

These birds are 14,5-17,5 cm long and weigh 16-22 g.

These birds are mostly found in dry scrublands, often in arid sand plains and rocky hills, showing a preference for dense Triodia clumps.

The striated grasswren feeds on the seeds of Triodia and various legumes, and also various arthropods including ants, beetles and spiders.

They can breed almost all year round, varying between different areas. The nest is a bulky dome with a side entrance, made of dry stems, bark strips and grass and lined with soft fibre, down and fur. It is typically placed inside a dense Triodia clump, 20-30 cm above the ground. The female lays 2-3 white eggs with red spots, which are incubated for 13-15 days. The chicks fledge 11-14 days after hatching. Each pair raises 1-2 broods per season.

IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
The striated grasswren has a large breeding range and is described as locally common to uncommon. This population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat loss and degradation due to clearing, over-grazing and inappropriate fire regime. Predation by feral carnivores is another problem affecting this species.

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