Family Shrike-tits (Falcunculidae)

Least Concern

Eastern Shrike-tit (Falcunculus frontatus)


Taxonomy

French: Falconelle à casque German: Grauschwanz-Meisendickkopf Spanish: Silbador cabezón oriental
Taxonomy:

L[anius]. frontatus

Latham

, 1801,

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

.

Commonly and plausibly considered conspecific with F. whitei and F. leucogaster, but differs from former in its much longer tail (sample tiny#R but indicative; allow 3); rich mid-grey vs brownish-grey wing-coverts and wings narrowly edged white vs broadly edged yellow (2); female without dark transverse bar at top of breast (2); seemingly slightly different song, but based on a single recording (ns). Differs from latter (for which no recordings of voice available) in its longer wing (largest samples reported#R for males yield effect size of 0.94; score 1); rich mid-grey vs olive-grey wing-coverts (1); remiges edged white vs yellow (2); and yellow vs white belly (3). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Distribution:

E & SE Australia (S from NE Queensland and E from SE South Australia).

Descriptive notes

16–19 cm; 27–33 g. Distinctive head pattern, with crown and nape feathers formed into crest; deep bill laterally compressed. Male nominate race has median... read more

Voice

Song of nominate race a high-pitched, piping, drawn-out, descending whistle, described as mournful... read more

Habitat

Mainly eucalypt (Eucalyptus) forest and woodland, riparian vegetation in drier country,... read more

Food and feeding

Invertebrates, mainly insects, some spiders (Araneae); also fruit, seeds and arils. At one site, 50% of diet insect larvae, most of... read more

Breeding

Season late Aug to early Jan in E (nominate race); eggs recorded late Nov and Mar in N (whitei) and early Nov in SW (... read more

Movements

Largely sedentary; some local movements, mainly in autumn-winter. Present in some localities all... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Nominate race fairly common in appropriate habitat, but has declined in some areas; recorded in regrowth more than 50 years since logging, but not in... read more

Recommended citation

Boles, W. (2018). Eastern Shrike-tit (Falcunculus frontatus). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/59329 on 20 January 2018).