World's Smallest Birds

Spotted Pardalote

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pardalotus punctatus

Spotted Pardalote

The Spotted pardalote, sometimes known as the diamondbird, is one of the smallest of all Australian birds and one of the most colorful.

Males haves gray-brown upperparts with numerous paler buff spots, a black crown, wings and tail all with white spots, white eyebrows and reddish rump.
The underparts are pale-buff-cinnamon, darkening to a more ochre at the breast, with a demarcated yellow throat and vent.
Females are duller overall.

The Spotted pardalote is 3.1 - 3.9 inches long and weighs around 6 grams.

Pairs make soft, whistling "wheet-wheet" calls to one another throughout the day, which carry for quite a distance.

They have two calls, an initial call and an almost instant response, and thus can come from two different directions. It is one of the difficulties in locating them.

They are almost exclusively insectivores, they consume a number of different types of insects, but lerps (a honeydew casing exuded by insects of the family Psyllidae)  form the major component of their diet and the one to which they are most adapted.

They are very common in woodlands and eucalypt forest within its range, which covers most of Australia.

Southeastern Queensland through eastern New South Wales, eastern and southern Victoria and into southeastern South Australia, as well as southwestern Western Australia.
It is also found across eastern and northwestern Tasmania.

The nest is an underground horizontal oval chamber lined with shredded bark, linked by a tunnel 0.5 to 1.5 meters long to a hole in the side of a riverbank or slope in a shaded location.

The chamber is generally higher than the entrance tunnel, presumably to avoid flooding. Birds have used carpet rolls and garage roll-a-doors to nest in on occasion.

Pairs breed once a year, producing a clutch of 3 to 4 round shiny white eggs. The eggs are incubated for 19 days until they hatch, with nestlings spending another 21 days in the nest.

Spotted Pardalote infographic


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