Southern Emu-wren

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Habitat: Woodland, Heathland, Coastal, Grassland


The Southern Emu-wren is found in a variety of moist dense scrublands, heaths with grass trees, coastal heathlands, tea-tree vegetation, and, in Western Australia, in low scrub and dune vegetation on sandhills.

Did you know?

Emu-wrens are named for their six wispy, emu-like tail feathers.


This species is shy and has a weak flight, preferring to spend most of its time low in dense cover and will run like a mouse, with its tail down.


The Southern Emu-wren eats insects and spiders gleaned from within thick foliage, rarely appearing on the ground or above the shrub canopy. Foraging parties of up to 40 birds may form outside the breeding season.


The Southern Emu-wren breeds in pairs, with the male defending a small territory with regular bursts of song. The female builds an oval-shaped dome nest with a round entrance at the side. It is made from and lined with grasses and placed near the ground in a grass tussock or dense shrubbery. The female incubates the eggs and both parents feed the young, which remain with them for up to two months after fledging.