Eastern Spinebill

Common name
Eastern Spinebill
Scientific name
Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
Size – beak to tail
14 – 16 cm
Wing span
Birds of the Bluff
Page 33
Where to find
Heath, forest, woodlands and urban areas.
The Eastern Spinebill has a distinctive long, fine, down-curved beak. The male has bolder markings, but both sexes have eye-catching markings of orange/brown, black and white. The juvenile birds are olive-grey above and  yellow-buff below. They are energetic flyers, often darting about on whirring, fluttering wings which can make an audible sound as they move about. They can feed while perched or hovering.

The main breeding site of the Eastern Spinebill is near the Otway Ranges, but they move into the Barwon Heads area around April each year. The long thin bill that gives the bird its name is used to reach deep into flowers to collect nectar. It appreciates the banksias and other flowers of the Bluff, but it is quite at home in urban gardens. The call is a rapid trill. They feed on insects and nectar.