Grey Fantail

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Grey Fantail, Rhipidura albiscapa, Size 14-17cm. This delightful and inquisitive small bird is constantly on the move. The black and white tail is broadly spread and flicked from side to side each time it lands, making it one of the easiest to identify. Small white eyebrow and cheek flash. Black cheek patch, black bill with noticeable whiskers, white throat and black breast band. The upperparts are grey/black, underparts variable white through to cinnamon. Immature are generally brownish. Call is a high pitched and squeaky.

Feeding Habits

Catches insects in flight, from amongst foliage, around tree trunks and in open scrub. Often seen feeding close to the ground.


July-December. Small round nest with long tail, made with finely shredded bark and grass, bound together with cobweb. Generally close to water. two-to-three eggs are laid. Both sexes build the nest, incubate the eggs and feed the young.

Places to Look

Nomadic in the Burdekin from April-July. Parks, gardens, open woodland, inland scrub, golf courses.

Traditional Name

Babaral (pronounced - Barba-Rool)


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

Grey Fantail © Birdlife Townsville 2008

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