Australasian Warblers

Family Acanthizidae

This family is native to Indonesia and south-west Oceania, and includes scrubwrens, gerygones and thornbills. These are generally small insectivorous birds, well represented in Canberra gardens. None is particularly distinctive in appearance, with plumage predominantly in dun, olive and grey tones. There is little difference in plumage between males and females, and they have short slender and slightly bristled bills for capturing small insects.

However, different species forage at different levels in vegetation, according to the ecological niche they occupy, from the ground to the upper foliage of forests. So, together with their recognisable calls, and a little experience, these characteristics can help identify particular species.

Because different members of this family make use of different forest and woodland habitats, many different species find suburban gardens and surrounding parks open spaces quite suitable habitat. Some may be resident in gardens over considerable periods of time, while others may be observed moving through gardens in mixed feeding flocks, particularly during winter. Three members of this family have been recorded only occasionally in the survey: Southern Whiteface (8 records), Brown Gerygone (3) and Chestnut-rumped Heathwren (1).