A ‘bush canary’ with a beautiful song
ONE of the smaller birds in the region at only 10cm is the white-throated gerygone.
It is a grey-brown bird with a white throat and spot on the forehead, distinctive bright yellow underparts and a white-tipped tail. It also has a red eye.
Juveniles do not have a white throat or white spot on the forehead.
Because of its yellow underparts it is often called the bush canary. It has a delightful descending call and the name “gerygone” means “born of song”. Gerygone is pronounced geryg-o-nee.
They are also referred to as warblers, which are not necessarily closely related but share some characteristics, such as being fairly small, vocal and insectivorous.
In Australia there are nine species in the gerygone family, with six of these being found in Queensland.
Males and females are the same. They are insect eaters and catch their prey by foraging through the foliage of trees and shrubs.
They mate for life and build an oval or pear-shaped nest of bark bound with spiders’ silk, which is hung in the outer foliage of trees. The nest is built entirely by the female and she incubates the eggs but both sexes feed the young birds.
They can be seen around Gladstone in places like Police Creek, Tondoon Botanic Gardens and Canoe Point Reserve.
If you are interested in citizen science, you can enter your bird sightings into Birdata, which you can find at birdata.birdlife.org.au. It will keep a record of all the birds you see and allow you to find out what has been seen in your local area.