Spotlight on the Rufous Bristlebird


The Surf Coast is one of the last places in the world you will be able to find the rare and threatened Rufous Bristlebird and we are very lucky to have this gorgeous little creature call our coast home!

The Rufous Bristlebird (Dasyorni Broadbenti) is only found in Australia with a predominance along coastal areas in south-western Victoria.  The species has previously been sighted in south-western Western Australia and south-eastern South Australia, but unfortunately frequent burning has led to its extinction in W.A.

Adult male- Rufous Bristlebird- photo courtesy of Graemechapman.com.au
Adult male- Rufous Bristlebird- photo courtesy of Graemechapman.com.au

The Rufous Bristlebird is from the Dasyornithidae family, and is a medium sized primarily ground-dwelling songbird. Its colouring is predominantly dark grey-brown and they have distinctive long tail. The Rufous Bristlebird has a very loud unique call.

Their natural habitat is in coastal shrublands and woodlands.  They are weak flyers and often build their nests close to the ground in low shrubs or tussocks. They feed primarily on ground-dwelling invertebrates.

The Rufous Bristlebird
The Rufous Bristlebird

All species are threatened nationwide due to habitat loss as the result of clearing for agriculture and coastal urban developments.  Additionally, because they are ground-dwelling birds,  they are prone to predation by cats and foxes.

The Rufous Bristlebird is often found in coastal thickets and they have been sighted at Jan Juc, Point Addis, Anglesea, Aireys Inlet, Wye River Loch Ard, Wye River and inland areas of the Otway Ranges.

Have you been lucky enough to spot a Rufous Bristlebird on the coast?

Rufous Bristlebird- Photo courtesy of feathersandphotos.com
Rufous Bristlebird- Photo courtesy of feathersandphotos.com

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2 thoughts on “Spotlight on the Rufous Bristlebird

  • We have rufous bristle birds nesting in our garden at Otway Herbs, in the hills behind Skenes Creek. I am very concerned at the impact on these birds from the greatly increased asset protection burns that are taking place all along the coast and hinterland, especially as the leader of the DEPE Hawkeye project, meant to to monitor effects on flora and fauna knows nothing about them.

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