Grey Fantail

Common name
Grey Fantail
Scientific name
Rhipidura albiscapa
Size – beak to tail
14 – 17 cm
Wing span
Birds of the Bluff
Page 41
Where to find
Most treed areas, including coastal scrub, watercourses, orchards, parks and gardens.
The upper body and the head are grey and it has a white eyebrow. The throat has a white patch and there are narrow white stripes on the wing. Tail feathers are long and grey with white edges.  The Grey Fantail is easily recognised with its frequently fanned tail and agile aerial twists and turns.

Grey Fantails have the nickname of “cranky fan”. They very rarely sit still, and the large fanned tail is in continual motion. These inquisitive birds will often approach quite close to people, presumably to catch disturbed insects. Their excellent flying skills allow them to catch small insects and also evade predators such as cats. Their nest is carefully crafted from spider webs. They feed on insects, that they catch by chasing them from the edge of the canopy.