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Quail Thrushes and Whipbirds: Eupetidae - Behavior And Reproduction

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Quail thrushes tend to be shy and secretive, except for the ifrit. Those that live in the rainforest hide themselves in the thick vegetation. Quail thrushes will either freeze or break into flight when they are disturbed. When they land, they will either stop and freeze, or run away quickly on foot. Whipbirds and melampittas will often approach any non-obtrusive observer, cautious but curious. As a whole, the birds are usually heard but not seen. They indicate their presence with vocalizations that can range from thin whistles to loud and booming notes. Both male and female eastern whipbirds take part in antiphonal, answering, duets in a way that gave birth to their name. The male whistles loudly, sounding like a whip has passed through the air with the female following right away with two loud cracks.

Quail thrushes make their nests of dry vegetation and put them in small depressions on the ground. The ifrit will build a much bulkier nest with thick walls about 10 feet (3 meters) off the ground. Most of the nests are cup-shaped; but the melampitta will build a domed nest with a side entrance and put it up the side of tree fern trunk. Quail thrushes, jewel-babblers, and the rail-babbler have clutches of two eggs, and the other species, have only one egg. The eggs have dark spots and blotches all over them, with a pale background underneath the markings. Australian whipbirds and wedgebills have eggs that are light blue with black scribbles very boldly marking them. Due to the problems of observing these secretive birds, the male and female roles in incubation and brooding, as well as the time of the nesting periods remain unknown.

Quail Thrushes and Whipbirds: Eupetidae - Australian Chats And People [next] [back] Quail Thrushes and Whipbirds: Eupetidae - Diet

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