Crested Shriketit

Information about the Bird Crested Shriketit

The crested shriketit (Falcunculus frontatus) is a bird endemic to Australia where it inhabits open eucalypt forest and woodland. It is the only species contained within both the genus and subfamily Falcunculus.

The crested shriketit was first described by the English ornithologist John Latham in 1801 under the binomial name Lanius frontatus.
Nuclear gene sequencing suggests that the crested shriketits and the wattled ploughbill may require their own family, Falcunculidae (Dickinson 2003). There are three subspecies (sometimes considered full species) with disjunct ranges:
Males are larger than females in wing length, weight, and bill-size. Males have black throats, while females have olive green.
It feeds mainly on insects, spiders and, sometimes, particularly during the breeding season, young birds. Thistles are also taken. It has a parrot-like bill, used for distinctive bark-stripping behaviour, which gains it access to invertebrates.
The eastern crested shriketit is evaluated as being of least concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the northern crested shriketit is considered endangered, and the western crested shriketit is listed as near threatened. Both the northern and western crested shriketits suffer from habitat loss and fragmentation.

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