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Cover bird

April 1, 2013

Bird booklet The Strath Creek Landcare Group’s booklet “Birds of the lower King Parrot Valley” featured on its front cover an image of the Crested Shrike-tit. This striking bird can occasionally be found in Coonans Bridge Reserve and other bushland remnants in our area, and a small flock was recently seen on a Flowerdale bush block (see photo below). It is mainly an insect eater, foraging in the bark on tree trunks and branches. Its powerful bill can tear bark, open hard galls and dismember larger prey.
It can be unobtrusive and we have been trying to record its distinctive call for some time. Yesterday we tracked one down near Seymour and, although we didn’t get a photograph, we managed to get a good recording of its call – a rather mournful descending whistle (somewhat like a speeded-up version of the Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo call), interspersed with stuttering chuckles. To hear the calls, click on the arrowhead below.

The Crested Shrike-tit is one of a number of woodland birds known to be declining due to fragmentation and degradation of its habitat. Without such birds our trees suffer from excessive insect predation. Renewal of habitat through projects such as the Strath Creek Biodiversity Project is essential for the survival of our woodland birds.Crested Shrike-tit
The photo at right is from the booklet mentioned above and was taken by Stuart Harris from the Canberra Ornithologists Group.

Crested Shrike-tits at Flowerdale

Crested Shrike-tits at Flowerdale

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