Size: Averages 10 cm long including short tail, 12 g.
Range and lifestyle: Found throughout Australia, usually seen as individuals or in small family groups. Local Brisbane birds stay year-round, and other birds from southern states migrate to South-east Queensland or further north.
Food: Mainly lerps (see below), gleaned off leaves of gum trees.
Breeding: Cup-shaped nest usually built at the end of a tunnel in a hole in soil, but sometimes in a tree hollow. The female lays 3 or 4 glossy white eggs, and both parents incubate the eggs for about 16 days, then feed the chicks for about 3 weeks.
Most local birds make their own nest holes by digging a tunnel into the vertical banks along the edge of dirt tracks or roads made by humans.
The tiny chicks spend the first three weeks of their lives in an underground nest, but after fledging spend most of their time in the forest canopy, where they feed mostly on lerps - tiny, sugar-coated insects that squat on the underside of the leaves of eucalypts.
Local pairs live year-round in an area smaller than a football field.
Text © Richard Noske 2021 CC BY-NC-SA
This section is under development.