Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Banded Whiteface
Aphelocephala nigricincta
(Viewing 4 of 7 photos)

Click to listen to sound samples Banded Whitefaces are birds of the arid interior, real desert dwellers, and more widespread in W.A. than elsewhere. They only just make it into far NW NSW, just south of Cameron Corner, but if you go out into the dunes to the west or north, they are quite plentiful.

Their distribution in the desert is quite patchy and largely dependent on the occurrence of suitable shrubs for nesting. In this regard they are quite particular - they prefer low-growing, very prickly shrubs such as hakeas. Even their nests are prickly, like little balls of barbed wire and quite a large nest for such a small bird. It has a long entrance spout, presumably a deterrent to certain predators such as snakes and goannas. Their sturdy nests last out in those dry regions for a long time and are not at all well concealed - quite easily seen from a distance and an ideal guide to their presence, but for each active nest there always seem to be half a dozen old ones which would effectively act as decoys to would be predators like ravens and butcherbirds.

They occur mainly in pairs or family groups and in good seasons can usually be found in the same places year after year. Unlike the other two whitefaces, they have quite a loud and sustained song - listen on the sound page.

Photo: 469201

469201 ... Banded Whiteface, adult.

Photo: 469202

469202 ... Banded Whiteface

Photo: 469203

469203 ... Banded Whiteface

Photo: 469204

469204 ... Banded Whiteface

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