Family Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds (Locustellidae)

Least Concern

Spinifexbird (Poodytes carteri)


French: Mégalure du spinifex German: Spinifexsänger Spanish: Yerbera del spinifex

Eremiornis carteri


, 1900,

North West Cape, north-western Australia


Previously placed in Eremiornis, due to combination of unstreaked plumage and long tail-coverts, unique in such a specialized, long-tailed species; placement in Poodytes tentative. Monotypic.


Australia: very patchily from coastal Western Australia (including some islands) E in arid uplands (in band between 19° S and 26° S) to W & C Queensland.

Descriptive notes

14–16 cm; c. 22–25 g. A grassbird-like warbler with very long tail, graduated towards tip; tail-coverts above and below very long. Crown is dull rufous, shading... read more


Song, delivered from top of acacia bush (Acacia) or large hummock of spinifex grass (... read more


Stands of spinifex grass, particularly where old large hummocks of spinifex become mixed with... read more

Food and feeding

Diet consists mostly of small invertebrates, especially grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and small beetles (Coleoptera); variety of seeds also... read more


Season Aug–Nov, but sudden extensive rainfall at other times can trigger breeding activity; may rear two broods in good seasons. Nest... read more


Resident so far as is known. Discovery of a “new” population in C Queensland in 2002... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally quite common, but extremely localized. Densest population known is on Barrow I, off coast of Western Australia, where this is the most most... read more

Recommended citation

Madge, S. (2019). Spinifexbird (Poodytes carteri). 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 25 April 2019).