Family Thornbills (Acanthizidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-rumped Heathwren (Calamanthus pyrrhopygius)


French: Séricorne à croupion roux German: Heidehuscher Spanish: Sedosito culirrojo

Acanthiza pyrrhopygia

Vigors and Horsfield

, 1827,

Sydney region, New South Wales, Australia


Along with C. cautus, previously placed in Hylacola. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. p. pedleri Schodde & Mason, 1999 – S Flinders Ranges, in South Australia.
  • C. p. parkeri Schodde & Mason, 1999 – Mt Lofty Ranges, in South Australia.
  • C. p. pyrrhopygius (Vigors & Horsfield, 1827) – coastal SE Australia S from granite belt of SE Queensland, inland to W slopes of Great Dividing Range, and extreme SE South Australia and much of Victoria.
  • Descriptive notes

    12·5–16 cm; 17 g. A terrestrial acanthizid with long tail held cocked. Male nominate race is rather dark warm brown above, greyer on crown and neck side, with... read more


    Song, given from prominent perch in or on bush, mostly in breeding season, by both sexes (male more... read more


    Dense heathland, also low, thick understorey, particularly heathy formations, in dry sclerophyll... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet consists of arthropods, including flies (Diptera), moths and larvae (Lepidoptera), cicadas (Cicadidae), cockroach egg sacs (Blattodea... read more


    Season Jun–Dec; often double-brooded. Breeds as simple pair. Nest a compact dome, with side entrance at ground level, constructed... read more


    Mainly resident, but some local wandering suggested; can turn up as vagrant outside normal range, e... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common in suitable habitat over much of range; less numerous in South Australia. Nominate race has good populations in national parks around... read more

    Recommended citation

    Gregory, P. (2019). Chestnut-rumped Heathwren (Calamanthus pyrrhopygius). 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 19 February 2019).