Australian Bush Birds
Apostlebird  -  Struthidea cinerea
Apostlebird, usually forages in groups, continually twittering to stay in contact.
Apostlebird Apostlebird
Left. Apostlebirds are often seen with their head down searching for food. Right. The feathers have pointed tips giving this unusual appearance.
map map The Apostlebird - Struthidea cinerea - has an ash grey head, breast, underside and upper back. Head and breast feathers have elongated, pointed tips giving the plumage a shaggy appearance. Beak is stubby, black. Wings are brown. Tail is long and mid-black often flicked up and down as the bird strides forward. Reaches 29 to 33 centimetres in length.

Moves in gregarious, noisy family groups of from 3 to about 20 birds, usually about 5 to 10. The groups often move quickly along the ground as the birds forage for seeds and insects picking up items from the ground and not probing and digging as other ground foragers do. Adopts a predominantly terrestrial lifestyle walking with long strides and often running or hopping. Group members maintain a stream of twittering and chatter among themselves while foraging. In winter, after the breeding season, these groups may combine in larger flocks of up to 50 or 100 birds.

Apostle Bird - page 2
Apostlebirds are most commonly seen in drier parts but they never live far from fresh water.
A family group will hold a territory of 15 to 30 hectares defending it against other groups.

Family groups roost clustered closely together in a row on a branch.

Builds a medium-sized bowl-shaped mud nest.

Inhabits open, fairly dry country never far from water which they visit several times a day in warm weather. Groups are seen in open forest, woodland, river margins and roadside tree belts.

A common species subject to localised distribution.

Distributed through central Queensland, New South Wales and in south-east South Australia