Being shy, secretive birds, Western Bristlebirds are seldom seen as they generally stay concealed among the dense vegetation of coastal heathlands. Although they are generally quiet, their distinctive high-pitched, melodious song is sometimes heard as they call from the ground, a low perch or occasionally the tops of shrubs.
The top of the head, neck and upper back are all dark brown with distinct grey mottling, merging to rufous-brown on the lower back and rump; the upper tail is olive-brown with rufous margins. The face is generally grey-brown, with a whitish chin and throat. The breast is light brownish-grey with fine, dark-brown scalloping, the belly is whitish, and the undertail is brownish-grey. The eye is reddish.
A high-pitched, melodious song. Bird call recorded by: Mark Carter
Confined to the South West of Western Australia, populations of the Western Bristlebird occur between Two Peoples Bay and Waychinicup Inlet, and also in Fitzgerald National Park.
Western Bristlebirds inhabit coastal heathlands with a diverse range of dense, low-growing shrubs. They occur in areas that have not been burnt for some years, but the time between burning and reoccupation varies between different sites.
Being shy, secretive birds, Western Bristlebirds are seldom seen as they generally stay concealed among the dense vegetation of coastal heathlands. Their tail is held horizontally as they peck at the ground, using the bill to probe beneath the leaf litter or sweep fallen leaves aside.
Western Bristlebirds forage, usually in pairs, on or close to the ground, taking mainly invertebrates, including worms, snails, insects and their larvae, as well as seeds.
The Western Bristlebird lays two dull-white, minutely spotted eggs in a large domed nest of sedges, rushes and sticks usually built close to the ground.