The cinnamon quail-thrush (Cinclosoma cinnamomeum) is cryptic arid-zone species that is endemic to Australia. This small to medium-sized species of bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of central Australia.
This species is a member of the Psophodidae family, which is a group of passerine bird’s native to Australia and nearby areas. The quail-thrushes (Cinclosoma), which the cinnamon quail-thrush is a part of, belong to this family.
Cinnamon quail-thrush have a body-length of 20 cm, and weigh up to 50 grams when fully grown. Male birds are characterised by a white eyebrow, black face and a broad white streak down the sides of a black throat. The upperparts of their body are plain cinnamon-rufous with buff-white patches on the upper breast and a broad black band below. The outer tail feathers are black with white tips. The female has similar features but duller with a buff-white throat and eyebrow. Their upper breast is grey and they have no black on the underside. Juveniles have the same markings but males may have an indistinct breast band. They have high-pitched, slightly hissing calls (voices).
Distribution and habitatEdit
The cinnamon quail-thrush is an Australian endemic that is typically found in arid and semi-arid regions of central Australia. These regions are defined by the presence of desert vegetation and land forms as well as by low rainfall, with less than 500 mm per annum in most areas. Its distribution size is estimated to be 831,000 kilometres square, spanning over south west Queensland, north west New South Wales, north eastern South Australia and the south east of the Northern Territory. Within these areas the cinnamon quail-thrush has been found in grass and shrublands, however it is more commonly found among dry stony areas, especially around dry creek lines.
Behaviour and ecologyEdit
These terrestrial birds are fairly weak fliers and prefer to squat or run when disturbed.
The cinnamon quail-thrush are exclusively ground foragers, eating a wide range of invertebrates (including grasshoppers, bugs, beetles, flies and ants), and seeds of both native and introduced flora species.
These birds are found alone, in pairs or small family groups. Males sing continuously at daybreak in the breeding season, which is normally between the months of July and August. Breeding occurs on the ground, with cup-shaped nests being built in depressions and lined with strips of bark, fine grass or sticks. The nest is usually located amongst rocky areas, against fallen branches or under low bushes or sparse tufts of grass. The clutch can contain two or three eggs.
There is no evidence of the cinnamon quail-thrush having large-scale seasonal movements.
While the cinnamon quail-thrush’s population has not been measured, it is thought that species is slowly declining due to ongoing habitat degradation caused by livestock and introduced herbivores. The species is listed under least concern on the ICUN Red List of Threatened Species.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Cinclosoma cinnamomeum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
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- Simpson, Ken (1999).’’Field Guide to the Birds of Australia’’, p. 212.Penguin Books, Australia. ISBN 0-670-87918-5.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "(Cinclosoma cinnamomeum) - BirdLife species factsheet". Birdlife.org. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
- "Chestnut Quail-thrush - Profile". NSW Government: Office of Environment & Heritage. Retrieved 27 August 2018.