Psophodidae

Psophodidae is a family of passerine birds native to Australia and nearby areas. It has a complicated taxonomic history and different authors vary in which birds they include in the family. In the strictest sense, it includes only the 5 or 6 species of whipbirds and wedgebills (Psophodes and Androphobus), but some authors also includes at the quail-thrushes (Cinclosoma), 8 species of ground-dwelling birds found in Australia and New Guinea, and the jewel-babblers (Ptilorrhoa), 3 or 4 species found in rainforest in New Guinea. The Malaysian rail-babbler (Eupetes macrocerus) was formerly sometimes placed in this family, which would then be called Eupetidae.

Psophodidae
Spotted Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma punctatum)
Spotted quail-thrush (Cinclosoma punctatum)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Family: Psophodidae
Bonaparte, 1854
Genera

See list below

Taxonomy

The quail-thrushes, jewel-babblers, whipbirds and wedgebills were traditionally included with the logrunners (Orthonyx) in the family Orthonychidae.[1] Sometimes the Malaysian rail-babbler and blue-capped ifrit (Ifrita kowaldi) were also included in the family.[2] In 1985, Sibley and Ahlquist found that the logrunners were not related to the others and included only the logrunners in the Orthonychidae.[3] They treated the others as the subfamily Cinclosomatinae within their expanded family Corvidae.[4]

A number of authors later treated the quail-thrushes and allies as the family Cinclosomatidae, a name first coined by Gregory Mathews in 1921–1922. However, if the whipbirds are included in the family, the older name Psophodidae Bonaparte, 1854 has priority. If the Malaysian rail-babbler is also included, the name Eupetidae Bonaparte, 1850 has priority.[3]

The Malaysian rail-babbler has now been shown to be unrelated to the others, probably being an early offshoot of the Passerida.[5] Another study found the quail-thrushes and jewel-babblers to be related to each other but did not show them to have a close relationship with Psophodes or Ifrita.[6]

Description

Whipbirds and wedgebills are 19–31 cm long. They are mainly olive-green or brown in colour and have a crest.[7]

The quail-thrushes and jewel babblers are medium-sized songbirds, 17–28 cm in length.[8][7] They have strong legs and bills. Males and females often differ in plumage markings. The quail-thrushes are largely brown above, the colour varying to provide camouflage against the soil, but are more boldly marked with black and white below.[7] Jewel-babblers usually have extensive blue in their plumage.[8] Most species have loud, distinctive songs.[9]

Distribution and habitat

The whipbirds and wedgebills are all found in Australia, occurring in a range of habitats from rainforest to arid scrub.[7] The western whipbird is considered to be near-threatened because of habitat loss and fires while the Papuan whipbird is classed as data deficient.[10][11]

Jewel-babblers are found on New Guinea and the neighbouring islands of Yapen, Batanta, Misool and Salawati.[8] They occur in forest, generally replacing each other at different altitudes. The painted quail-thrush is also found in the forests of New Guinea.[8] The other quail-thrushes are restricted to Australia where they are found in drier habitats, occurring in open forest, scrub and on stony ground.[7] None of the species are thought to be threatened but one subspecies of the spotted quail-thrush is possibly extinct.[12]

Behaviour

Cinclosoma castanotum
Chestnut-backed quail-thrush (Cinclosoma castanotum)

They are terrestrial birds which fly fairly weakly and prefer to squat or run when disturbed.[1] They forage on the ground feeding mainly on insects and other invertebrates.[9] In the desert, quail-thrushes also eat some seeds.[1]

They build a cup-shaped nest among shrubs or on the ground. Two or three eggs are laid.[9]

Species list

Easternwhipbird2
Eastern whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus)

References

  1. ^ a b c Roberson, Don (2004) Quail-thrushes Cinclosomatidae, Bird Families of the World. Accessed 4 January 2010.
  2. ^ Howard, Richard & Alick Moore (1980) A complete checklist of the Birds of the World, 1st ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  3. ^ a b Christidis, Les & Walter Boles (2008) Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds, CSIRO Publishing.
  4. ^ Sibley's Sequence: Passeriformes. Accessed 4 January 2010.
  5. ^ Jønsson, K.A., J. Fjeldså, P.G.P. Ericson, and M. Irestedt (2007) Systematic placement of an enigmatic Southeast Asian taxon Eupetes macrocerus and implications for the biogeography of a main songbird radiation, the Passerida, Biology Letters 3(3):323–326.
  6. ^ Norman, Janette A., Per G.P. Ericson, Knud A. Jønsson, Jon Fjeldså & Les Christidis (2009) A multi-gene phylogeny reveals novel relationships for aberrant genera of Australo-Papuan core Corvoidea and polyphyly of the Pachycephalidae and Psophodidae (Aves: Passeriformes), Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 52:488–497.
  7. ^ a b c d e Pizzey, Graham & Frank Knight (1997) Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, HarperCollins, London, UK.
  8. ^ a b c d Coates, Brian J. & William S. Peckover (2001), Birds of New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago: a photographic guide, Dove Publications, Alderley, Australia.
  9. ^ a b c Perrins, Christopher, ed. (2004) The New Encyclopedia of Birds, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  10. ^ BirdLife International (2009) ["Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2012-12-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=5609&m=0 Species factsheet: Psophodes nigrogularis]. Downloaded from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2012-12-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) on 4 January 2010.
  11. ^ BirdLife International (2009) ["Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2012-12-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=5607&m=0 Species factsheet: Androphobus viridis]. Downloaded from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2012-12-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) on 4 January 2010.
  12. ^ Department for Environment and Heritage (2008) Cinclosoma punctatum anachoreta Spotted Quail-thrush. Accessed 4 January 2010.

External links

Blue jewel-babbler

The blue jewel-babbler (Ptilorrhoa caerulescens) is a species of bird in the family Psophodidae.

It is found in New Guinea.

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

Brown-headed jewel-babbler

The brown-headed jewel-babbler (Ptilorrhoa caerulescens geislerorum), also known as the dimorphic jewel-babbler or brown-capped jewel-babbler, is a jewel-babbler in the family Psophodidae. It is usually considered to be conspecific with the blue jewel-babbler, but is sometimes considered a distinct species separated altitudinally and by varying behaviour, calls and female plumage.

Chestnut-backed jewel-babbler

The chestnut-backed jewel-babbler (Ptilorrhoa castanonota) is a species of bird in the family Psophodidae.

It is found in New Guinea.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Chiming wedgebill

The chiming wedgebill, sometimes referred to as chiming whipbird (Psophodes occidentalis) is a species of bird in the family Psophodidae.

It is endemic to Australia. The chiming wedgebill and chirruping wedgebill (Psophodes occidentalis) were considered to be a single species until as late as 1973, when they were separated due to marked differences in their calls.

The chiming wedgebill makes a cooing sound during mating.

Copperback quail-thrush

The copperback quail-thrush (Cinclosoma clarum) is a species of bird in the family Psophodidae. It was split from the chestnut quail-thrush in 2015. It is endemic to Australia. Its natural habitat is Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation.

Corvoidea

Corvoidea is a superfamily of birds in the order of Passeriformes. It contains the following families:

Paramythiidae: tit berrypecker and crested berrypeckers

Psophodidae: whipbirds, jewel-babblers and quail-thrushes

Platysteiridae: wattle-eyes and batiss

Tephrodornithidae: woodshrikes and allies

Prionopidae: helmetshrikes

Malaconotidae: bush-shrikes

Machaerirynchidae: boatbills

Vangidae: vangas

Pityriaseidae: Bornean bristlehead

Artamidae: butcherbirds, currawongs and Australian magpie (formerly in Cracticidae)

Rhagologidae: mottled whistler

Aegithinidae: ioras

Campephagidae: cuckooshrikes and trillers

Mohouidae: whiteheads

Neosittidae: sittellas

Eulacestomidae: ploughbill

Oreoicidae: Australo-Papuan bellbirds

Pachycephalidae: whistlers, shrike-thrushes, pitohuis and allies

Laniidae: shrikes

Vireonidae: vireos

Oriolidae: orioles, figbirds and †piopio (formerly Turnagridae)

Dicruridae: drongos

Rhipiduridae: fantails

Monarchidae: monarchs and allies

Corvidae: crows, magpies, and jays

Corcoracidae: white-winged chough and apostlebird

Melampittidae: melampittas

Ifritidae: ifritabirds

Paradisaeidae: birds of paradise

Eastern whipbird

The eastern whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus) is an insectivorous passerine bird native to the east coast of Australia, its whip-crack call a familiar sound in forests of eastern Australia. Two subspecies are recognised. Heard much more often than seen, it is a dark olive-green and black in colour with a distinctive white cheek patch and crest. The male and female are similar in plumage.

List of birds of South Australia

This is a list of birds of South Australia, a state within Australia.

List of birds of Western Australia

The following is a list of birds sighted in Western Australia.

Nullarbor quail-thrush

The Nullarbor quail-thrush (Cinclosoma alisteri) is a species of bird in the Psophodidae family. It is the only Australian bird endemic to the Nullarbor Plain in southern Australia.

Painted quail-thrush

The painted quail-thrush (Cinclosoma ajax) is a species of bird in the Psophodidae family.

It is found in New Guinea.

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

Papuan whipbird

The Papuan whipbird (Androphobus viridis) is a species of bird in the family Psophodidae. It is monotypic within the genus Androphobus. It is found in Western New Guinea.

Passerine

A passerine is any bird of the order Passeriformes, which includes more than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds or – less accurately – as songbirds, passerines are distinguished from other orders of birds by the arrangement of their toes (three pointing forward and one back), which facilitates perching, amongst other features specific to their evolutionary history in Australaves.

With more than 110 families and some 6,409 identified species, Passeriformes is the largest order of birds and among the most diverse orders of terrestrial vertebrates. Passerines are divided

into three clades, Acanthisitti (New Zealand wrens), Tyranni (suboscines) and Passeri (oscine).The passerines contain several groups of brood parasites such as the viduas, cuckoo-finches, and the cowbirds. Most passerines are omnivorous, while the shrikes are carnivorous.

The terms "passerine" and "Passeriformes" are derived from the scientific name of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus, and ultimately from the Latin term passer, which refers to sparrows and similar small birds.

Psophodes

Psophodes is a genus of five species of songbirds endemic to Australia, known as whipbirds and wedgebills.

Quail-thrush

A quail-thrush is a bird of the genus Cinclosoma, which contains eight species. Quail-thrushes are in a different family from either quails or thrushes, but bear some superficial resemblance to them. The genus is found in Australia and New Guinea in a variety of habitats ranging from rainforest to deserts. The genus is closely related to the jewel-babblers of New Guinea. Seven species were recognised in 2007. A molecular study published in 2015 by Gaynor Dolman and Leo Joseph resulted in the splitting of the chestnut-backed quail-thrush into the chestnut quail-thrush of eastern Australia and the copperback quail-thrush in the west.

Spotted jewel-babbler

The spotted jewel-babbler (Ptilorrhoa leucosticta) is a species of bird in the family Psophodidae.

It is found in the highlands of New Guinea.

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Spotted quail-thrush

The spotted quail-thrush (Cinclosoma punctatum) is a species of bird in the Psophodidae family.

It is endemic to Australia.

Its natural habitat is subtropical, tropical and temperate dry forests.

Western quail-thrush

The western quail-thrush (Cinclosoma marginatum) is a species of bird in the Psophodidae family.

It is endemic to Australia.

White-bellied whipbird

The white-bellied whipbird (Psophodes leucogaster), also called the Mallee whipbird, is a species of bird in the family Psophodidae. It is endemic to southern Australia.

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