Striated Thornbill

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Habitat: Woodland, Forest, Urban


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.


Typically seen actively moving through the outer foliage of eucalypts in a range of forests and woodlands of south-eastern Australia, the Striated Thornbill often maintains contact with other members of its flock by continually uttering quiet, insect-like calls. They often occur as a part of mixed-species feeding-flocks in the treetops, joining with other species of thornbills, and occasionally other small insectivorous species.


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.


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.