Family Rhipiduridae

Fantails form a large group of small insectivorous birds distributed from Pakistan to Australia and many Pacific Ocean islands. They have a distinctive fan tail which gives them aerial agility, and flat triangular bills surrounded by two rows of long bristles to assist with catching insects on the wing. While most fantails are birds of the forest, some live in a wide variety of habitats including deserts, mangroves, woodland and even urban environments. The most widespread is the Willie Wagtail, which can be found in almost every habitat in Australia except for dense rainforest. Fantails are generally highly active conspicuous birds, continuously on the move. Even when they are perched in one spot, they rock back and forth, spin around on the spot, and continuously wag their tail or open and close the fan. They are agile and acrobatic aerialists in pursuit of flying insects.