Photo: C & D Frith
Wet Tropics Rainforest Life
ENDEMIC Tropical North QLD
AUSTRALIAN FERNWREN: Oreoscopus gutturalis 13 cm
The Fernwren is endemic to the Wet Tropics region.
It is restricted to upland rainforests, where it forages in moist leaf litter.
- It produces very high-pitched whistling and scolding notes, yet it is difficult to see unless the observer is patient.
- It feeds by turning over the forest litter, and has been seen following larger birds to forage in patches already disturbed by them (eg. Orange-footed Scrubfowl).
- It has a fine tweezer-like bill to use when probing for animal food.
- Its breeding season is from August to February.
- The solid domed nest is often placed against a tree trunk or small earth bank. It is made from numerous rootlets and mosses. Two eggs are usually laid here, and both parents raise the young.
- Other members of the same family (Acanthizidae) living in the rainforest include the Mountain Thornbill, Brown Gerygone, Large-billed Gerygone, Fairy Gerygone and the Scrubwren species.
- Fernwrens are found at Lake Barrine near Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge
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