|Grey Fantail Rhipidura albiscapa
(aka Rhipidura fuliginosa see below)
February / March 2006
Grey Fantail R. albiscapa was separated from New Zealand Fantail R. fuliginosa in Schodde & Mason (See pages 479-480)
|It is distributed in Australia mainly in the south-east including Tasmania, the south-west and centre although it
migrates throughout most of Australia in the winter.
It is found in a wide variety of habitats from forest and woodland to coastal scrub and gardens. It was certainly one of the commonest birds seen in our trip to south-east Australia. It is easily seen as it hunts insects on the wing in an acrobatic manner. At rest it fans its tail or flicks it from side to side.
|There are six sub-species. The nominate is found in Tasmania and is seen here in photos 1, 2 and 5. This last photo shows an immature which is browner with buffy marks on the head and wing-coverts. Photos 3 and 4 show the sub-species R. a. alisteri which differs from nominate in having a very dark grey face and larger white tips to the wing coverts. This sub-species is found from South Australia round through Victoria to southern New South Wales.|
|Photos 6, 7 and 8 show the sub-species R. a. keasti which is distributed in Queensland. It is blacker than
the other races with a broader black breastband. Photo 8 shows immatures.
Photos 9 and 10 show the sub-species R. a. preissi from south-west Western Australia. This has a smaller and lighter breast band with a proportionately longer tail with the two central feathers dusky grey-brown.
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