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Varied Sittella - BirdForum Opus

Black-capped Sittella
Photo by Mike Bouette
Perth Hills, Australia, August 2007
Daphoenositta chrysoptera


Orange-winged Sittella
Photo by Neil
Sydney, Australia

10–14 cm (4-5½ in)

  • Orange-yellow iris
  • Yellow eye-ring, legs and feet
  • Long and slender and slightly up-turned bill
  • Greyish upperparts
  • Whitie underparts with varied streaking
  • Pale upper tail coverts with dark-barring underneath
  • Dark tail with a white tip
  • Dark upper wings

Males have longer bills than females.


Southern and eastern birds - the underwings have an orange-rufous band, while in the north the band is white.
The sub-species differ in the patterns on the head and neck, the amount of streaking and in the wing patterns.


Widely distributed in Australia.


Papuan Sittella was formerly considered conspecific with this species.
Some authorities place this species in the genus Neositta.


Subspecies leucocephala; White-headed Sitella
Photo by nyoman
Nerang National Park, Queensland, Australia, May 2017

Five subspecies accepted which are sometimes recognized as full species:


Eucalypt woodlands and forests.



Their diet consists of insects and arthropods, including beetles. They feed by gleaning on tree trunks or branches, moving downwards or along branches.


The nest is a deep open cup, constructed from bark and spider web. It is decorated on the outside with long pieces of bark. Co-operative brreders, the breeding pair having several helpers. Only the breeding female incubates the eggs and broods the young.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2017)

Recommended Citation

External Links

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