Family Thornbills (Acanthizidae)

Least Concern

Buff-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza reguloides)


French: Acanthize à croupion beige German: Goldhähnchen-Dornschnabel Spanish: Acantiza reguloide

Acanthiza reguloides

Vigors and Horsfield

, 1827,

Parramatta and Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia


Sister to A. inornata, based on genetic study#R. Race squamata has in the past been treated as a separate species. Cline of increasing yellow and less buff coloration from S to N, but variation could be interpreted also as stepped gradients. Nominate race intergrades with nesa in NE New South Wales and with australis in W Victoria. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. r. squamata De Vis, 1889 – E Queensland (Atherton Tablelands S to Broad Sound), in NE Australia.
  • A. r. nesa (Mathews, 1920) – SE Queensland and NE New South Wales.
  • A. r. reguloides Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 – SE Australia from New South Wales (inland to inner W slopes of Great Dividing Range) S to Victoria.
  • A. r. australis (North, 1904) – SE South Australia and SW Victoria.
  • Descriptive notes

    9·5–11 cm; 8 g. A medium-sized, pale-eyed thornbill with somewhat stout, relatively deep-based bill. Nominate race has greyish-olive top and side of head and... read more


    Calls throughout year, but often quiet. Song a rapidly repeated musical tinkling on 2 alternating... read more


    Open eucalypt (Eucalyptus) forest and woodland, usually with open or sparse understorey... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods; also seeds and nectar. Major prey items include ants (Formicidae), beetles (Coleoptera), flies (Diptera), orthopterans, wasps (... read more


    Season Jul–Feb (late winter/early spring to mid-summer); complete breeding cycle, from nest construction to fledging, took 6–10... read more


    Primarily resident; some local seasonal movement between habitats noted in E Queensland (... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Rather uncommon and local within a wide range in E Australia. Local declines and disappearances recorded where suburban subdivision occurs, with... read more

    Recommended citation

    Gregory, P. (2019). Buff-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza reguloides). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 February 2019).