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Have your say on Freycinet

12/06/2018

Public comment is now invited on the Draft Freycinet Peninsula Master Plan.More

Ben Lomond recovery works update

31/05/2018

Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) will oversee the recovery works at Ben Lomond after a recent fire destroyed essential infrastructure.More

Southwest ecological burns important for orange-bellied parrot conservation

22/03/2018

Planned ecological burns in Southwest National Park will help regenerate important habitat areas for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.More

Eastern Spinebill, Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris

Photography by Lee Frake

Description

The Eastern Spinebill is a small (145-160mm) honeyeater easily recognised by its very long, fine, down-curved beak. Males have a grey-black crown that extends down as a crescent on either site of the breast. The breast and throat are white, with a rufous patch in the centre of the throat. The wings and lower back are dark metallic grey and the underparts and upper back are buff. Females are similar but duller in colour than the males.

Habitat

The Eastern Spinebill prefers heath, sclerophyll forest, rainforest and woodland. It is a common visitor to gardens.

Diet

The species feeds on insects and nectar while perched or hovering. Nectar is obtained from a range of flowers, including grevilleas, but its beak is particularly well-suited to extracting nectar from tubular flowers such as epacrids (heaths).

Breeding

The nest is a small cup of grass, twigs and bark, combined with hair and spider's web. It is usually built in a tree fork between 1 and 5 metres from the ground. Only the female builds the nest and incubates the eggs, but both parents feed the young.

Distribution Map courtesy Natural Values Atlas, data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania

Call

The call is a clear, rapid piping whistle, and a twittering during flight.

Distribution

The Eastern Spinebill is found in coastal eastern and south eastern mainland Australia. In Tasmania it is common, except on the Bass Strait islands.