Family Thornbills (Acanthizidae)

Least Concern

Mountain Thornbill (Acanthiza katherina)


French: Acanthize des montagnes German: Bergdornschnabel Spanish: Acantiza montana

Acanthiza katherina

De Vis

, 1905,

Bellenden Ker Range, north-eastern Queensland, Australia


Closely related to A. pusilla. See also A. murina. Monotypic.


NE Australia: highlands of NE Queensland from Shipton’s Flat (near Cooktown) S to Paluma Range (near Townsville), extending inland to Atherton and Windsor Tablelands.

Descriptive notes

10–10·5 cm; 7 g. Medium-sized thornbill. Head, hindneck and side of neck are greyish-olive, with fine creamy scalloping on forehead, indistinct fine whitish streaking... read more


Song, frequently given when foraging, a sweet, trilled short melodious series with rattly... read more


Tropical rainforest, at 450–1600 m; likes quite dense formations with Calamus vines... read more

Food and feeding

Spiders (Araneae) and insects, including beetles (Coleoptera), flies (Diptera), shield-bugs (Pentatomidae) and ants (Formicidae). Forages... read more


Season Aug–Nov. Nests as simple pair, but suggestion also of occasional co-operative breeding. Both sexes believed to construct nest... read more


Sedentary; of 98 recoveries of ringed individuals (involving 76 birds), all were less than 10 km... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Queensland Wet Tropics EBA. Quite common within its upland rainforest habitat in far N Queensland, where a... read more

Recommended citation

Gregory, P. (2019). Mountain Thornbill (Acanthiza katherina). 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 17 February 2019).