Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Western Spinebill
Acanthorhynchus superciliosus
(Viewing 2 of 2 photos)

Western Spinebills are found in the shrublands and forests of far south-western W.A. roughly west of a line joining Cockleshell Gully, N of Jurien Bay and Israelite Bay east of Esperance. Largely nectar feeders, their long curved bills are well adapted to feeding from tubular flowers, in particular Kangaroo Paws. Occasionally hovering to feed, their light weight also allows them to perch right at the ends of the blooms - they are the smallest honeyeater in the south-west. Adult Western Spinebills live in permanent teritories, usually areas rich in banksias, dryandras and other flowering shrubs. The males defend these territories in a vertical display flight with a distinctive high-pitched song. Unlike Eastern Spinebills where the males and females look very similar, male Western Spinebills are much more strikingly coloured than their mates.


Photo: 592201

592201 ... Western Spinebill, male.

Photo: 592202

592202 ... Western Spinebill, immature.


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