|Willie Wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys
February / April 2006
The Willie Wagtail is distributed throughout Australia though it is only accidental in Tasmania. It is also distributed in New Guinea. It is found in a wide variety of habitats with the exception of dense forest.
|It forages for insects using its tail to twist and turn while in pursuit of its prey. I saw this bird more often
hunting from the ground whereas the Grey Fantail R. albiscapa seemed to forage more from bushes
and tree branches.
As you can see from these photos, it is very black and white with a sharp border on the breast. It has thin, white eye-brows.
|Photo 3 shows an immature with brownish wing feathers and white mottling on the chin.
Photo 4 shows the sub-species R. l. picata found in the northern third of Australia. It differs from the nominate sub-species found further south (and shown in photos 1, 2 and 3) in being smaller and having a slightly longer bill and longer rictal bristles.
|It has a melodic song sometimes characterised as "sweet-pretty-creature" and also a rattling alarm call.|
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