Scrubbirds are shy, secretive, ground-dwelling birds of the family Atrichornithidae. There are just two species. The rufous scrubbird is rare and very restricted in its range, and the noisy scrubbird is so rare that until 1961 it was thought to be extinct. Both are native to Australia.

The scrubbird family is ancient and is understood to be most closely related to the lyrebirds, and probably also the bowerbirds and treecreepers. All four families originated with the great corvid radiation of the Australia-New Guinea region.

The population of the noisy scrubbird was estimated at 40 to 45 birds in 1962. Conservation efforts succeeded in increasing the population to around 400 birds by the mid-1980s, and they have subsequently been reintroduced to several sites, but remain endangered. As of 2002, the population had recovered to around 1,200 birds.

Noisy scrubbird (Atrichornis clamosus)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Atrichornithidae
Stejneger, 1885
Genus: Atrichornis
Stejneger, 1885


Birds of both species are about the same size as a common starling (roughly 20 cm long) and cryptically coloured in drab browns and blacks. They occupy dense undergrowth—the rufous scrubbird in temperate rain forests near the Queensland-New South Wales border, the noisy scrubbird in heaths and scrubby gullies in coastal Western Australia—and are adept at scuttling mouse-like under cover to avoid notice.[1] They run fast, but their flight is feeble.

The males' calls, however, are powerful:[1] ringing and metallic, with a ventriloquial quality, so loud as to be heard from a long distance in heavy scrub and almost painful at close range. Females build a domed nest close to the ground and take sole responsibility for raising the young.

Species of Atrichornithidae

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Atrichornis rufescens Rufous scrubbird north-eastern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland
Atrichornis clamosus Noisy scrubbird east of Albany in Western Australia


  1. ^ a b Smith. G.T. (1991). Forshaw, Joseph (ed.). Encyclopaedia of Animals: Birds. London: Merehurst Press. p. 170. ISBN 1-85391-186-0.
1867 in birding and ornithology

Birds described in 1867 include short-tailed finch, Mascarene coot (subfossil, Tongatapu rail (known only from brief descriptions of a specimen, now lost and a painting) Drakensberg rockjumper, Darwin's nothura, yellow-shouldered grosbeak, helmeted honeyeater, rufous scrubbird,

Death of Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied

Death of Prideaux John Selby

Death of John MacGillivray

Death of Filippo de Filippi

Alphonse Milne-Edwards Recherches anatomiques et paléontologiques pour servir à l'histoire des oiseaux fossiles de la France.1867-71 Online at Gallica Bibliothèque nationale de France

Foundation of Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di GenovaExpeditions

1865–1868 Magenta circumnavigation of the globe Italian expedition that made important scientific observations in South America.Ongoing events

John Gould The birds of Australia; Supplement 1851-69. 1 vol. 81 plates; Artists: J. Gould and H. C. Richter; Lithographer: H. C. Richter

John Gould The birds of Asia; 1850-83 7 vols. 530 plates, Artists: J. Gould, H. C. Richter, W. Hart and J. Wolf; Lithographers:H. C. Richter and W. Hart

Don Merton

Donald Vincent Merton (22 February 1939 – 10 April 2011) was a New Zealand conservationist best known for saving the black robin from extinction. He also discovered the lek breeding system of the kakapo.When Don Merton began his work, as a conservationist Kakapo were believed to be extinct, but about 20 years into his career a small population of Kakapo were found on a semi-remote national park in mainland New Zealand, however, it was several months before they finally found a female, and soon after they had discovered a surprise, a female with a well feed chick a few weeks old. Don and his crew wanted to relocate all of the rediscovered Kakapo to off shore Codfish island, however the New Zealand's Department of Conservation only gave him permission to relocate 20. Fortunately though, despite this the Kakapo population has steadily recovered (as of 2019 there are 147 mature adult Kakapo, and the 2019 season has produced 181 eggs and 34 chicks so far, but not all are likely to survive due to problems with in breeding- lack of genetic diversity.) But thanks to technological advances in GENOME Mapping tools like CRISPR, scientists have successfully mapped all of the 147 Kakapos' genomes, and in the near future it may be possible to edit the Genomes of an egg to allow for a higher survival rate among newly hatched chicks.

Until his retirement in April 2005, Merton was a senior member of the New Zealand Department of Conservation’s Threatened Species Section, within the Research, Development & Improvement Division, Terrestrial Conservation Unit, and of the Kakapo Management Group. He has had a long involvement in wildlife conservation, specialized in the management of endangered species since he completed a traineeship with the New Zealand Wildlife Service (NZWS) in 1960.

List of birds by common name

In this list of birds by common name, a total of 9,722 extant and recently extinct bird species are recognised, belonging to a total of 204 families.

List of birds of Australia

This is a list of the wild birds found in Australia including its outlying islands and territories, but excluding the Australian Antarctic Territory. The outlying islands covered include: Christmas, Cocos (Keeling), Ashmore, Torres Strait, Coral Sea, Lord Howe, Norfolk, Macquarie and Heard/McDonald. The list includes introduced species, common vagrants and recently extinct species. It excludes extirpated introductions, some very rare vagrants (seen once) and species only present in captivity. Nine hundred and fifty extant and extinct species are listed.

There have been three comprehensive accounts: the first was John Goulds Birds of Australia, the second Gregory Mathews, and third was the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds (1990-2006).

The taxonomy followed is from Christidis and Boles, 2008. Their system has been developed over nearly two decades and has strong local support, but deviates in important ways from more generally accepted schemes.

List of birds of Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica

This list is based on the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds list, May 2002 update, with the doubtfuls omitted. It includes the birds of Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, and the surrounding ocean and subantarctic islands.

Australian call-ups are based on the List of Australian birds.

New Zealand call-ups are based on the List of New Zealand birds.

List of endangered birds

As of May 2019, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 469 endangered avian species. 4.0% of all evaluated avian species are listed as endangered.

No subpopulations of birds have been evaluated by the IUCN.

For a species to be considered endangered by the IUCN it must meet certain quantitative criteria which are designed to classify taxa facing "a very high risk of exintction". An even higher risk is faced by critically endangered species, which meet the quantitative criteria for endangered species. Critically endangered birds are listed separately. There are 634 avian species which are endangered or critically endangered.

Additionally 61 avian species (0.59% of those evaluated) are listed as data deficient, meaning there is insufficient information for a full assessment of conservation status. As these species typically have small distributions and/or populations, they are intrinsically likely to be threatened, according to the IUCN. While the category of data deficient indicates that no assessment of extinction risk has been made for the taxa, the IUCN notes that it may be appropriate to give them "the same degree of attention as threatened taxa, at least until their status can be assessed."This is a complete list of endangered avian species evaluated by the IUCN. Where possible common names for taxa are given while links point to the scientific name used by the IUCN.

Noisy scrubbird

The noisy scrubbird (Atrichornis clamosus) is a species of bird in the family Atrichornithidae. It is endemic to the coastal heaths of south-western Australia (east of Albany).

Rufous scrubbird

The rufous scrubbird (Atrichornis rufescens) is a bird species in the family Atrichornithidae. It is endemic to Australia. Two subspecies are recognized: the nominate A. r. rufescens, and A. r. ferrieri.

Waychinicup National Park

Waychinicup National Park is in Western Australia, 404 kilometres (251 mi) southeast of Perth and 65 kilometres (40 mi) east of Albany. The park is bordered by the Southern Ocean to the south, Mount Manypeaks Nature Reserve to the east, and agricultural land to the north. Its coastline runs between Normans Beach and Cheynes Beach, near Bremer Bay. Bald Island Nature Reserve is located offshore nearby. The park offers and array of landscapes, from the rugged coast to boulder-strewn hilltops. Tree-filled, deeply-incised valleys have freshwater streams flowing through them, with moss-covered boulders. Facilities provided include a camping area and bush toilet near the inlet of the Waychinicup River.


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