The rufous scrub-bird is a small (17-18.5cm), dark-coloured ground-dwelling bird with short rounded wings, long rounded tail, strong legs and a short wedge-shaped bill merging into long flat forehead. Adults are mostly dark rufous-brown with faint darker barring, and with a buff belly. The male has an obvious blackish triangle on chin, throat and breast joining large blackish patches on sides of upper belly and a white strip along sides of chin and throat . There is little difference in plumage between the two subspecies and only minor morphological differences (e.g., the tarsus of males is shorter in the southern than in the northern sub-species) . However, there is a difference in song patterns between the two subspecies.
Rufous Scrub-bird, Rufous Scrub-bird (northern) |
Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
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Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Atrichornis rufescens
Climate change; involving drier conditions; particularly prolonged sequences of drought leading into and during breeding seasons; could impair reproductive capacity.