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Scrubtit

A Scrubtit perched on a bush
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Scientific Name: Acanthornis magna

Size: 11 to 12 cm

What does it look like?

The Scrubtit is brownish with a grey face and conspicuous white eyering and small wingbar. The underparts are buffalong the flanks and cream belly. 

Where is it found?

It is endemic to Tasmania and is found wherever suitable habitat occurs. A second subspecies occurs on King Island. 

What are its habitats & habits?

The Scrubtit is predominantly found in wet beech, eucalypt or paperbark forests, this generally shy treecreeper-like bird feeds on small insects, which it gleans mainly from the trunk and branches of trees. Often seen climbing up and down the trunks of trees, along branches or within the upper foliage of shrubs, but will also occasionally descend to the ground to forage amongst the leaf litter. 

Interesting facts

The Scrubtit is the sole member of the genus Acanthornis. A 2017 genetic study identified that the ancestor of the scrubtit diverged from the three whitefaces of the genus Aphelocephala around 7 million years ago, which had, in turn, diverged from the thornbill lineage around 13 million years ago.

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Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

This species features in my book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots

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