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.
|Spotted quail-thrush (Cinclosoma punctatum)|
See list below
The quail-thrushes, jewel-babblers, whipbirds and wedgebills were traditionally included with the logrunners (Orthonyx) in the family Orthonychidae. Sometimes the Malaysian rail-babbler and blue-capped ifrit (Ifrita kowaldi) were also included in the family. In 1985, Sibley and Ahlquist found that the logrunners were not related to the others and included only the logrunners in the Orthonychidae. They treated the others as the subfamily Cinclosomatinae within their expanded family Corvidae.
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.
The Malaysian rail-babbler has now been shown to be unrelated to the others, probably being an early offshoot of the Passerida. 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.
Whipbirds and wedgebills are 19–31 cm long. They are mainly olive-green or brown in colour and have a crest.
The quail-thrushes and jewel babblers are medium-sized songbirds, 17–28 cm in length. 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. Jewel-babblers usually have extensive blue in their plumage. Most species have loud, distinctive songs.
The whipbirds and wedgebills are all found in Australia, occurring in a range of habitats from rainforest to arid scrub. The western whipbird is considered to be near-threatened because of habitat loss and fires while the Papuan whipbird is classed as data deficient.
Jewel-babblers are found on New Guinea and the neighbouring islands of Yapen, Batanta, Misool and Salawati. They occur in forest, generally replacing each other at different altitudes. The painted quail-thrush is also found in the forests of New Guinea. The other quail-thrushes are restricted to Australia where they are found in drier habitats, occurring in open forest, scrub and on stony ground. None of the species are thought to be threatened but one subspecies of the spotted quail-thrush is possibly extinct.
They are terrestrial birds which fly fairly weakly and prefer to squat or run when disturbed. They forage on the ground feeding mainly on insects and other invertebrates. In the desert, quail-thrushes also eat some seeds.
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
Pityriaseidae: Bornean bristlehead
Artamidae: butcherbirds, currawongs and Australian magpie (formerly in Cracticidae)
Rhagologidae: mottled whistler
Campephagidae: cuckooshrikes and trillers
Oreoicidae: Australo-Papuan bellbirds
Pachycephalidae: whistlers, shrike-thrushes, pitohuis and allies
Oriolidae: orioles, figbirds and †piopio (formerly Turnagridae)
Monarchidae: monarchs and allies
Corvidae: crows, magpies, and jays
Corcoracidae: white-winged chough and apostlebird
Paradisaeidae: birds of paradiseEastern 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.