Family Thornbills (Acanthizidae)

Near Threatened

Norfolk Gerygone (Gerygone modesta)


French: Gérygone de Norfolk German: Norfolkgerygone Spanish: Gerigón de la Norfolk

Gerygone modesta


, 1860,

Norfolk Island, in Tasman Sea


Sister to G. igata, based on DNA data#R. In past, these two (together with extinct †G. insularis of Lord Howe I) were considered conspecific, a treatment recently resurrected by some authors#R. However, here maintained separate, as present species differs from igata in its longer bill (effect size based on published data#R, although n=6 for G. modesta, 2.42; score 2); subterminally darker tail with reduced white spotting (2); and, on basis of descriptions and only two recordings of modesta, a different, more “nervous” song, with more frequent drops and rises in frequency (2) and a loud abrupt vs gently fading finish (2). Monotypic.


Norfolk I (including vegetated N islets), E of Australia.

Descriptive notes

9·5–12·3 cm; c. 7 g. Plumage is olive-brown above, with pale grey face, white broken eyering, small dark patch in front of eye; tail with broad blackish... read more


Song a melodious warbling, with ending slurred, similar in character to those of congeners, but... read more


Inhabits rainforest, secondary growth, hedgerows, pastureland with remnant vegetation and gardens.... read more

Food and feeding

Insectivorous. Forages mainly in canopy of trees and shrubs, darting about actively between bouts of hover-gleaning; also gleans insects... read more


Recorded Nov–Feb; probably double-brooded. Nest pear-shaped, domed, with side entrance near top, made from bark, grass, moss, fibrous... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened: currently considered Near Threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Norfolk Island EBA. Common. Estimated global population c. 10,000 mature... read more

Recommended citation

Gregory, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Norfolk Gerygone (Gerygone modesta). 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).