Brown Thornbill

Common name
Brown Thornbill
Scientific name
Acanthiza pusilla
Size – beak to tail
9 – 10 cm
Wing span
Birds of the Bluff
Page 32
Where to find
Dense shrubby habitats, along watercourses and in urban areas.
The small Brown Thornbill is reasonably common, but not well recognised. It has olive-brown to grey underparts with tawny-brown crown and rump. The chest and throat have striations of dark streaks and the eyes are dark red. The sexes are similar. The call of these small birds has  several characteristic bass notes which, once learnt, can be a very useful aid to identification of another “little brown bird”.

They make a pleasant song as small family groups flitter about in the bushy undergrowth of the Bluff or search for insects in the foliage of trees.  Generally in shrubby layers, sometimes in trees and rarely, if ever, on the ground. They are considered by some to be uninteresting but they have the cheekiest of personalities and are often not difficult to find amongst the vegetation. They feed mainly on insects, but sometimes seeds, nectar or fruit.