Varied Sittella

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Varied Sittella, Daphoenositta chrysoptera, is a small sized bird sized at approximately 10 to 13 centimetres. Several races converge in this region. All have fine yellow bill with dark, slightly upturned tip. White/buff wing bar. Black and white bars under the short tail. Yellow ring around the eye, legs yellow. Back is light brown with darker streaks. Wings appear darker. Head may have a black cap or full dark hood; under parts can be streaked with brown or plain white. Often in flocks of up to twenty.

Feeding Habits

Starting at the top of a tree, they work their way downward, head first, along the branches and trunk, probing under the bark, searching for insects and spiders.


July-December. Nest is a camouflaged cup of bark and lichen, bound with cobwebs in an upright fork 10-20 metres above ground. Looking like a slight bump, they are very difficult to detect. Females incubate the eggs with other members helping attend the young.

Places to Look

  • Woodland
  • Parks
  • Farmland


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

Varied Sittella © Birdlife Townsville 2008

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