Willie Wagtail, Rhipidura leucophrys, Size 19-22cm. Common and well-known black fantail. Eyebrow and underparts white. Head, back, and tail black, with brownish wings. Tail is wagged rather than fanned. Always restless, swings body from side to side, sudden flicks of the wings to flush insects. Call is variable from a harsh chatter when annoyed to a more general ‘sweet pretty creature’.
Feeds on insects often caught in flight, or working frequently from branches of trees to fences or taken from the ground.
August-January or throughout the year in good times. Nest is a neat circular cup of grass and cobwebs on a horizontal branch, often over water but will also use any structure that is handy, e.g. clothes hoists, street lamps, buildings. Two-to-four eggs, both sexes build the nest, incubate the eggs and feed the young. The nest is defended vigorously.
Places to Look
Parks, gardens, farmland, open woodland and often around livestock.
- Woodland Birds of the Burdekin Dry Tropics
- Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club)
NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.
This is a legacy website. Content is not being updated but is kept as an archive.
Updated NRM information is now held in the NQ Dry Tropics NRM Information Portal at http://nrm.nqdrytropics.com.au/.
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