Pilotbird Pycnoptilus floccosus
Pilotbird, Tarra Bulga N.P., Vicoria, Australia, April 2006 - click for larger image Tarra Bulga N.P., Victoria, Australia
April 2006

The Pilotbird is distributed in south-east New South Wales and south-east Victoria. It is found in temperate rainforest and wet eucalyptus forest where it forages for invertebrates amongst the leaf litter on the ground.

Pilotbird, Tarra Bulga N.P., Vicoria, Australia, April 2006 - click for larger image It is grey-brown with rufous forehead and breast. The undertail coverts are also rufous. The eye is red and the breast and belly is scaled.

There are two sub-species. This is P. f. sandlandi which is smaller than the nominate with a lighter brown back and pale rather than dark scalloping on the belly.

It gets its name from its habit of accompanying Superb Lyrebird Menura novaehollandiae benefiting from the latter's scraping of the ground much in the way that pilotfish benefit from proximity to sharks.

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