Family Thornbills (Acanthizidae)

Near Threatened

Chestnut-breasted Whiteface (Aphelocephala pectoralis)


French: Acanthize à collier roux German: Braunbrust-Weißstirnchen Spanish: Cariblanco pectoral

Xerophila pectoralis


, 1871,

Port Augusta [type locality probably c. 250 km N of there, at Lyndhurst#R], South Australia




C South Australia (centred around Mt Lyndhurst, Oodnadatta and Coober Pedy).

Descriptive notes

9–10·5 cm; 9 g. Has entire facial area off-white, narrowly bordered black along upper edge, thin black line from centre of forehead to bill, indistinct short... read more


Song based on rising “swee” phrases. Thin musical, trilling, twittering sound often... read more


Chenopod shrublands in open stony desert and semi-arid areas, often on stony hills or rises and... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods and seeds. Arthropods include beetles (Coleoptera, including genera Foramicomus and Polyphrades), lepidopteran... read more


Poorly known. Recorded in Aug–Sept. Performs display-flights, also sings after rains when breeding. Globular nest, with entrance... read more


Resident; numbers fluctuate according to local conditions and severity of drought.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. Restricted-range species: present in South Australian Desert Secondary Area. Rare to scarce. Confined to a... read more

Recommended citation

Gregory, P. (2019). Chestnut-breasted Whiteface (Aphelocephala pectoralis). 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).