An example – Listening and Watching

Both our local Pardalotes are beautiful birds, often heard but not often seen since they are tiny and usually call from high in trees. Being loud in call and distinctive in shape and plumage makes them ideal identification practice for beginning birders.  Both are widespread in the bush around Canberra, and can even be found at times in suburban gardens (more often the Spotted, often nesting in banks and pots) and streetscapes (the Striated).

Both these species have similar behaviour, feeding on lerp and nesting in banks, although the Striated Pardalote also uses tree hollows for nesting. Once you get to know their calls you may be surprised how often you hear and possibly see them in and around Canberra.

Spotted Pardalote

A jewel-like SPotted Pardalote

Occasionally Spotted Pardalotes will come down out of the trees and appear quite curious and confiding


The Spotted Pardalote is about 9 cm from beak to tail.With an idea of the call, the size and shape, and where to look (especially if you have binoculars), you may see the Spotted Pardalote’s distinctive plumage – a colourful throat and rump, spotted head, back and wings and a bold plain white eyebrow.

Striated Pardalote

Striated Pardalotes courting


Although similar in size and shape, the Striated Pardalote is quite different from the Spotted Pardalote in its head and wing pattern. Notice that like its Spotted cousins it has a bold white eyebrow, but with a bright yellow patch at the front on the forehead.  Unlike Striateds they have no white spots, but do have a distinctive red dot on each wing. Their call is also quite different – listen here,  on the Birds in Backyards page (the call is on the right hand side half way down the page).