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Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
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CHOWCHILLA

Chowchilla1.jpg (11665 bytes)
Photo: C & D Frith
Wet Tropics Rainforest Life

ENDEMIC Tropical North QLD

CHOWCHILLA  
Orthonyx spaldingii
27 cm

         The Chowchilla is endemic to the Wet Tropics region.

         Except in the wettest regions, it is restricted to upland rainforests.

         It forages in family groups in leaf litter, where it scratches vigorously.

         Its loud calls vary from place to place so that many local dialects are identifiable.

    It is also known as the Northern Logrunner, and is one of only two logrunner
      species. In the past it was also referred to as Spalding’s Spinetail.

    Its tail has adapted to aid in searching for food as it has strong spiny shafts which
       the bird is able to prop itself against whilst leaning backwards. It then uses one foot
       to throw leaf litter aside in search for animals to eat. As it does this, the litter tends
       to cover the bird itself and it almost disappears from sight.

     Each flock has its own permanent territory, and groups of approximately 3 to 8
       move about quickly together.  Probably  the birds in each group are closely related.

     At dawn and dusk the Chowchillas sing loudly, a characteristic sound of the upland
       rainforests. Their strong chorus is similar to that of a lyrebird’s call.

     Males and females can be distinguished by their different breast colours; males
       have a white colour and females have an orange-brown colour, sometimes with a
       small white patch below.

     The breeding season is from April to November.

      Round Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge the Chowchilla is scarce.  It is
        numerous nearby at Lake Barrine.

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Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges
Lake Eacham, Atherton Tableland
Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
PH & Fax: 07 4095 3754 International: 61 7 4095 3754

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