Family Thornbills (Acanthizidae)

Least Concern

Western Thornbill (Acanthiza inornata)


French: Acanthize sobre German: Walddornschnabel Spanish: Acantiza sencilla

Acanthiza inornata


, 1841,

Swan River, Western Australia


Sister to A. reguloides. Proposed race mastersi (wettest portion of S coast of SW Australia, E to Albany) might merit recognition, as sharp gradation occurs between darker population in extreme S and paler one to N; further study required. Tentatively treated as monotypic.


SW Western Australia N to Hill R and Moora and E to Stirling Range.

Descriptive notes

8–10·5 cm; 7 g. A small, plain thornbill with pale eye. Has fine creamy-buff scalloping on forehead, fine creamy-buff streaking and spotting on ear-coverts;... read more


Tends to be quiet and fairly unobtrusive. Song, reportedly used also as contact and in agonistic... read more


Wandoo woodland, jarrah and marri forest with understorey of shrubs, also flooded gum (... read more

Food and feeding

Primarily insectivorous. Food includes beetles (Coleoptera), bugs (Hemiptera), wasps and ants (Hymenoptera), and lepidopteran larvae; also... read more


Season Aug–Feb, occasionally from mid-Jul. Breeds as pair, or sometimes in group with three or four individuals attending one nest.... read more


Resident, with perhaps some local post-breeding wandering. Of 65 recoveries concerning 60... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common to uncommon. Density can reach 40 groups/100 ha, but drops after fires. Range relatively restricted, and much of the habitat being... read more

Recommended citation

Gregory, P. (2019). Western Thornbill (Acanthiza inornata). 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).