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Scrub-Birds: Atrichornithidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Rufous Scrub-bird (atrichornis Rufescens): Species AccountGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, SCRUB-BIRDS AND PEOPLE


Both species of scrub-bird occur only in Australia and only within restricted ranges. The rufous species lives in isolated populations in the Queensland-New South Wales border area. The noisy scrub-bird occupies the far southwestern corner of the country in Two People's Bay Nature Reserve near Albany and, since they were reintroduced there in 1998, the Darling Range of Western Australia, outside the city of Perth.

Scrub-birds require dense, low vegetation in which to hide from predators, animals that hunt them for food, and forage, search, for food. They are adapted to a thick layer of leaf litter and a moist microclimate, a small, uniformly moist area. The rufous scrub-birds prefer temperate rainforest, whereas the noisy scrub-bird occupies semi-arid areas.

Both the rufous and noisy scrub-birds eat insects that they find by picking through layers of leaves on the forest floor. Noisy scrub-birds occasionally prey on frogs, geckos, and lizards as well.

Both species of scrub-bird are so secretive and sedentary, still, that only the most patient of birdwatchers ever gets to see one. Many people have reported sitting silently for hours near a calling male just to get a glimpse of the creature. The scrub-bird has become a rallying point for Australian conservationists as they have labored to raise the birds' numbers over the past several decades.

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Animal Life ResourceBirds