Family Thornbills (Acanthizidae)

Least Concern

Large-billed Scrubwren (Sericornis magnirostra)


French: Séricorne à grand bec German: Fahlstirnsericornis Spanish: Sedosito picudo

Acanthiza magnirostra


, 1838,

New South Wales, Australia


Sometimes treated as conspecific with S. beccarii, and apparently intergrades extensively with it in NE Australia, but the two differ significantly in vocalizations and behaviour, and generally also in plumage. Species name sometimes erroneously emended to “magnirostris”, but original name is not a valid adjectival form and is therefore invariable. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. m. viridior Mathews, 1912 – NE Queensland (from Mt Amos–Big Tableland S to Paluma Range), in NE Australia.
  • S. m. magnirostra (Gould, 1838) – coastal and subcoastal Australia from E Queensland (Clarke Range) S, E of Great Dividing Range, to E Victoria (E Gippsland).
  • S. m. howei Mathews, 1912 – W Gippsland and Strzelecki Ranges, in S Victoria.
  • Descriptive notes

    10·5–12·5 cm; 10 g. A medium-sized rather featureless scrubwren with beady-looking dark eye in plain face, bill sometimes appearing slightly upturned.... read more


    Noisy, much more so than S. keri, constantly twittering and giving contact calls as it... read more


    Rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest in tropical, subtropical and temperate zones, frequenting... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insectivorous, but will take spiders (Araneae) and snails (Gastropoda), too. Recorded food items include beetles (of families Carabidae,... read more


    Season Jun–Feb, mostly Nov–Dec; sometimes double-brooded. Nest domed or ovate, with slightly hooded side entrance, made of... read more


    Mostly sedentary; some evidence of local wandering in winter.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common through much of its large E Australian range. This species’ habitat is well represented in national parks and reserves.

    Recommended citation

    Gregory, P. (2019). Large-billed Scrubwren (Sericornis magnirostra). 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 20 May 2019).