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Photo © by Hans&Judy Beste
SW Queensland, Australia,October, 2016
Melanodryas cucullata


15–17·5 cm (6-6¾ in)

  • Short thin bill
  • Longish tail


  • Black head and upperparts
  • White outer scapulars
  • Black upper wing
  • White bar across base of remiges
Male showing wing pattern
Photo © by Ken Doy
Outback Queensland, June 2016


  • Brownish-grey head
  • Dark brown wing with a white stripe

Juvenile White speckles on dark brown upperparts, pale wing bar, white underparts


Australia: found in Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia



Photo © by Pearly_Shells
Flinders Ranges, South Australia, July 2004

There are 4 subspecies[1]:

  • M. c. melvillensis:
  • M. c. picata:
  • M. c. cucullata:
  • South-Eastern Australia (south-eastern Queensland to Victoria and south-eastern [South Australia]])
  • M. c. westralensis:
  • Southern Western Australia, western South Australia and south-western Northern Territory


Areas with a few trees, mosty eucalypts and acacias.



They are usually found feeding on the ground. Their diet consists mostly of insects and arthropods, with the addition of some seeds.


Photo © by peterday
Near Normanville, South Australia, November 2019

They build a cup-shaped nest from bark and leaves secured with spiders web. It it placed in a tree hole or crevice. The female incubates the eggs. There may be a second brood.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2016)
  4. Birds in Backyards

Recommended Citation

External Links

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