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Acanthiza
File:Yellowthornbill.png
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Inopinaves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Infraorder: Meliphagida
Subfamily: Acanthizinae
Genus: Acanthiza
Vigors & Horsfield, 1827
Species

13, see text.

Acanthiza is a genus of passeriform birds, mostly found in Australia but with one species (A. murina) restricted to New Guinea. These birds are commonly known as thornbills. They are not closely related to species in the hummingbird genus Chalcostigma which are also called thornbills.

They are found primarily in Australia and have a thin long beak. Colloquially the thornbill is sometimes referred to as a Tit by locals, but in reality the Australian continent lacks any real Tits, albeit Acanthizan species do show some similarities with Tits in their behaviour. This is expressed in the fact that, like Tits, Thornbills live in small groups, except for the period of reproduction, during which the couples isolate themselves to raise their young.

The habitat preferences of the group vary from dense forest to open saltbush and bluebush plains.

Acanthiza follow a very characteristic undulating path when flying. Their diet is formed essentially of little insects and plant lice that these birds glean from foliage. They are also exceptional acrobats that are easily able to stay head downward like tits do.

The nest of the Acanthiza is a large dome-shaped construction, completely enclosed except for a side hole, just like that of the long-tailed tit; however Acanthiza adds to it an additional room whose function is unknown.

The incubation period is unknown but the number of eggs usually ranges from 2 to 4. The length of an adult bird is 8 - 10 centimeters.

Species

References

  • Del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A. & Christie D. (editors). (2006). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 9788496553422

External links


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