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SPOTTED CATBIRD

Spotted Catbird.jpg (10991 bytes) 
Photo: C & D Frith  
Australian Tropical Birds

ENDEMIC Tropical North QLD

SPOTTED CATBIRD
Ailuroedus melanotis 28 cm

       In Australia the Spotted Catbird is restricted to north Queensland.

        It is a bowerbird but is not polygamous and does not construct a bower or display court.

       The distinctive wailing call is uttered mostly at dawn and dusk.

     These birds are so named for their distinctive, cat-like call (like meowing).

     A closely related species to the bowerbird, it is found from near Townsville to Cape
       York, in New Guinea and several adjacent islands, preferably at mid to higher
       altitudes. Breeding adults generally live in permanent territories.

      The Spotted Catbirds live in pairs, and unlike bowerbirds, they maintain their pair
        bonds year after year. The birds raise their young together.

      They make a bowl-shaped nest of sticks and leaves about 2-10m above the
        ground. Usually one or two plain cream coloured eggs are laid, but sometimes
        three. The breeding season is from September to December.

      Incubation is 19-25 days, and nestlings fledge at about 18-22 days. They may
        become independent of their parents at 60-80 days after fledging.

      They feed on fruit (mainly figs), buds, shoots, seeds, flowers, insects and other
        birds’ eggs and young. It is common for the parents to tear apart these young birds
        to feed to their own offspring.

      The male and the female are both 26-30cm and look identical to each other.

      The Spotted Catbird strongly resembles the Green Catbird in its colour pattern,
         but is more boldly marked. Some believe the two birds to be the same species,
         and therefore they are sometimes grouped in this way. However, they do have
         several other differences.

          Spotted Catbirds are numerous round Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge, where
          they often perch on balconies or window ledges.  

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Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges
Lake Eacham, Atherton Tableland
Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
PH & Fax: 07 4095 3754 International: 61 7 4095 3754

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