Thornbills

 

Brown ThornbillAcanthiza is a genus of passeriform birds, mostly found in Australia but with one species (A. murina) restricted to New Guinea. These birds are commonly know as thornbills.

They are found primarily in Australia and have a thin long beak. Colloquially the thornbill is sometimes referred to as a Tit by locals, but in reality the Australian continent lacks any real Tits, albeit Acanthizan species do show some similarities with Tits in their behaviour. This is expressed in the fact that, like Tits, Thornbills live in small groups, except for the period of reproduction, during which the couples isolate themselves to raise their young.

It habitually lives in forests and sometimes it prefers even the less enlightened and thicker zones. Some species of Acanthiza prefer the wooden savannas and the great outdoors.

Acanthizae follow a very characteristic undulating path when flying.

Their diet is formed essentially of little insects and plant lice that these birds collect over and above leaves. They are also exceptional acrobats that are easily able to stay head downward like tits do.

The nest of the Acanthiza is a large dome-shaped construction, completely enclosed except for a side hole, just like that of the long-tailed tit; however Acanthiza adds to it an additional room whose function is unknown.

The incubation period is unknown but the number of eggs usually ranges from 2 to 4. The length of an adult bird is 8 - 10 centimeters.

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