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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Cladus: Telluraves
Cladus: Australaves
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Parvordo: Corvida
Superfamilia: Meliphagoidea

Familia: Acanthizidae
Genus: Acanthiza
Species: Acanthiza iredalei
Subspecies: A. i. hedleyi - A. i. iredalei - A. i. rosinae

Acanthiza iredalei Mathews, 1911

Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 27 p.97

Vernacular names
English: Slender-billed Thornbill

The Slender-billed Thornbill (Acanthiza iredalei) is a small bird native to Australia. It includes three separate sub-species:

* A. i. hedleyi
* A. i. iredalei
* A. i. rosinae

This thornbill can be found in shrublands and salt marshes, typically those around salt lakes or low heath on sand plains.[2] It eats mostly insects and spiders captured in the shrubs of its habitat. It rarely feeds on the ground, preferring instead the higher elevations of shrubs and trees.[2]

The Slender-billed Thornbill is rarely observed alone. They are usually seen in flocks of approximately eight birds or in pairs. Thornbill nests are small and built in low shrubs. They are constructed of grass, bark, cobwebs, and other shrubland debris. Females lay up to three eggs during the breeding season, which runs from July until November.[2]


The thornbill ranges from 9 to 10 centimeters in length. The colour of its back ranges from olive-grey to a darker olive-brown. The base of its tail is olive-yellow. Its underbelly is a smooth cream colour, and it has a dark bill and pale eyes.[2]

Distribution and habitat

The Slender-billed Thornbill iredalei subspecies has six separate and isolated populations in Western Australia, and a large population in the Carnarvon bioregion.[3] The hedleyi subspecies ranges across eastern Australia, and the rosinae subspecies can be found in southern Australia.

Conservation status

Broad status

The rosinae subspecies, most commonly found in St Vincent's Gulf, is considered Vulnerable.[4] The hedleyi subspecies, whose territory includes most of eastern Australia, is considered Near Threatened.[4] The iredalei subspecies is also considered Vulnerable.[5]

The thornbill (iredalei subspecies) is extinct in northern Australia, and is considered the only indigenous species to have become extinct in that location since European settlement.[2]


* The Slender-billed Thornbill (A. i. hedleyi) is listed as threatened on the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. [6] Under this Act, an Action Statement for the recovery and future management of this species has not been prepared.[7]

* On the 2007 advisory list of threatened vertebrate fauna in Victoria, this species is listed as Near Threatened.[8]


1. ^ BirdLife International (2008). Acanthiza iredalei. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 18 February 2009.
2. ^ a b c d e Threatened Species of the Northern Territory: Slender-Billed Thornbill. Department of Natural Resources, Environment, and the Arts, Northern Territories, Australia. PDF[dead link]
3. ^ The Directory of Australian Birds: Passerines by R. Schodde, I. J. Mason. Journal of Biogeography, Vol. 27, No. 3 (May, 2000), pp. 782-783
4. ^ a b Birds Australia
5. ^ Department of the Environment and Water Resources (2007). Acanthiza iredalei iredalei in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment and Water Resources, Canberra. Available from: [1].
6. ^
7. ^
8. ^ Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (2007). Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria - 2007. East Melbourne, Victoria: Department of Sustainability and Environment. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-74208-039-0.

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