Family Thornbills (Acanthizidae)

Least Concern

Fernwren (Oreoscopus gutturalis)


French: Northielle des fougères German: Farnhuscher Spanish: Acantiza de helechal

Sericornis gutturalis

De Vis

, 1889,

Herberton, northern Queensland, Australia




NE Australia: NE Queensland, from near Cooktown S to Mt Spec (in Paluma Range, near Townsville), extending inland to Herberton Range and Cardwell Range.

Descriptive notes

12–14 cm; c. 20 g. A long-billed, short-tailed terrestrial, scrubwren-like species. Plumage is dark brown above, with narrow white supercilium, broad blackish-brown... read more


Song, often from fallen branches or saplings within 1 m of forest floor, mainly in breeding season... read more


Wet tropical forest and old regrowth, particularly in damp shady gulleys, tablelands and gorges... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods, also small skinks (Scincidae). Forages usually singly or in pairs. Quiet and unobtrusive in dense shady habitat, but not... read more


Season Jul–Feb, mainly Oct–Nov. Probably maintains territory all year, but most vocal when breeding. Nest built by both sexes,... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Queensland Wet Tropics EBA. Uncommon and secretive species inhabiting damp dark areas; often difficult to locate... read more

Recommended citation

Gregory, P. (2019). Fernwren (Oreoscopus gutturalis). 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).