Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Jacky Winter
Also known as: Brown Flycatcher
Microeca fascinans
(Viewing 4 of 11 photos)

Click to listen to sound samples The name Jacky Winter probably originated in rural Victoria back in the early 1900's; until then they were generally known as Brown Flycatcher but in 1926 the name Jacky Winter became officially accepted in the Checklist of the Birds of Australia published by the R.A.O.U. Jacky Winters are amongst the plainest coloured birds in Australia, their main distinguishing feature being white outer tail feathers which are only clearly visible in flight. The sexes are alike, so are immatures, only the spotty plumage of the juveniles discloses their close relationship to the robins of the genus Petroica (see pic #377210).

Adult Jacky Winters usually live in pairs and are generally regarded as being sedentary, occupying territories of 10 - 15 Ha. They inhabit open woodland and semi-arid shrubland and have adapted well to farming and grazing lands. They rarely occur in closed or wet forest and never in rainforest. You see them typically as single birds, out on an exposed perch such as a dead branch or fencepost, perhaps twisting the tail from side to side whilst on the lookout for their food which they snatch from both in the air or from the ground. The female alone builds the very small nest (see pic #377207) and incubates the two or three eggs but the male helps to feed the young - there is at least one record of a third bird helping at the nest but this is unusual.

Jacky Winters have an attractive song which is mostly given from an outstanding perch, but sometimes also in a flight display. The simple song is a repeated two note phrase, likened by some people to "Peter - Peter - Peter", but it can also be more varied and complex. They are excellent mimics. (Listen on Sound Page).

Photo: 377201

377201 ... Jacky Winter.

Photo: 377206

377206 ... Jacky Winter

Photo: 377207

377207 ... Jacky Winter nest and eggs

Photo: 377208

377208 ... Jacky Winter

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