Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Eyrean Grasswren
Amytornis goyderi
(Viewing 4 of 20 photos)

Click to listen to sound samples Eyrean Grasswrens in good years are widespread throughout the Strzelecki and Simpson Deserts and in a top season (515212) I've recorded pairs at roughly 200 metre intervals in suitable habitat. In dry times they can be very hard to find; look for their paired footprints around the canegrass clumps. When Eyreans are at full speed (515213) across the open sand, their paired prints, one just ahead of the other, can be over a metre apart. In good seasons they can start nesting in June and at that time the males sing strongly from vantage points, so loud in fact that they can be heard from over 100 metres away on a still day. To me they sound a bit like a Goldfinch.

Eyrean Grasswrens have been found in a variety of habitats but their real favourite is Dune Canegrass, Zygochloa paradoxa (pic 515216). I took this pic some years ago about 35 km W of Cameron Corner. Canegrass habitat occurs along much of this road but the thickest growth is the best place for grasswrens. Be aware that this is private property and act accordingly! Further west where this road meets the main Strzelecki Track heading north to Moomba, grasswrens are in the long dune west of the road.

Across on the Birdsville track, after you cross the Cooper heading north, canegrass starts to appear, but on more level country (515210). The road to the old ferry gets you off the main drag. If you really want to get away from it all, you can actually stay at Old Andado Station in the SE of the Northern Territory where the birds are all around in a good season. Look at

Photo: 515201

515201 ... Eyrean Grasswren.

Photo: 515202

515202 ... Eyrean Grasswren.

Photo: 515204

515204 ... Their thick bill is well-adapted to eating seeds.

Photo: 515210

515210 ... Dune Canegrass, Zygochloa paradoxa, Mulka Station - prime Eyrean habitat.

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