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Small bird, big excitement

March 1, 2021

The Weebill (Smicrornis brevirostris), pictured left, is Australia’s smallest bird. The scientific name unsurprisingly comes from the Greek mikros meaning small and the Latin words brevis meaning short and rostrum meaning bill.

Weebills are found throughout mainland Australia, most commonly found in areas with dry, open eucalypt forests. They feed on insects primarily scale insects, psyllids and their lerp constructions. As such Weebills are usually found in the upper story of trees where the fresh new leaves and hence the sap-sucking insects are found. Around our district they are easily located in noisy mixed flocks, locally known as the ‘tribes’ as they scour the landscape for food.

The nest (pictured above) is pendant shaped with a hole in the side. It is constructed of grass and bark bound together with silk from spider webs and animal cocoons and animal hair. Nests are usually constructed in the canopy of trees. This one was found on an easily photographed flimsy branch just off the ground….

causing big excitement about the littlest of birds.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 1, 2021 8:26 pm

    Fabulous capture!

  2. Geoffrey Leslie permalink
    March 4, 2021 7:39 am

    Nest-building small birds always face the risk of predation by currawongs and other bigger birds. The weebill solution seems to be to build on the flimsiest extremities where there is no perch for bigger birds.

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