Eastern_Bristlebird.JPG (35151 bytes)Eastern Bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus): Bristlebirds have at least four forward-facing bristles growing from near the base of the bill (hence their common name). There are three species native to Australia.
The Eastern Bristlebird is between 200-220 millimetres long. Birds are reddish brown or dark olive above, light chestnut on nape and crown. They have a long tail and short, rounded wings. Birds usually move stealthily through dense undergrowth. When moving the tail is usually raised and fanned. They are loath to fly but when they do their flights are low and short.
Eastern Bristlebirds have a loud, melodious and penetrating call that ends with a sound like a whip crack.
The nest is domed and constructed of sticks, grass and bark. Nests are usually built close to the ground in low vegetation.
Eastern Bristlebirds have scattered and isolated populations along the eastern coasts of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. They are generally rare and local. Because Eastern Bristlebirds live and nest either on or close to the ground they are susceptible to predation by cats and foxes.
It is estimated that the population of Eastern Bristlebirds number less than 2000. Six hundred of these live in the Barren Grounds Nature Reserve in southern New South Wales.
One a visit to "Barren Grounds", in the winter of 2006, we were privileged  to see a number of Eastern Bristlebirds near a picnic area. The birds were looking for insects along a firetrail. They are obviously used to people as we were allowed to view their activities from a distance of only a few metres.
The image is from the National Parks and Wildlife Service information