of our visitors to Anglesea, Aireys Inlet, Fairhaven, Moggs Creek
or Eastern View may not be aware that one of Victoria's rare birds,
the Rufous Bristlebird, lives on our coast. 'Unspectacular in appearance,
it looks rather like the introduced female Blackbird but is more
It thrives where it has access to cliff top heathland,
especially steep densely-vegetated slopes where feral predators
cannot penetrate. These conditions prevail at Aireys Inlet, near
the lighthouse, despite the presence of houses and people. It has
disappeared from other places where it was recorded after the fires
As it feeds on the ground and nests close to
it, it is at the mercy of cats and foxes, Currawongs are also guilty
of nest predation. The only nest I have been able to follow right
through lost its two nestlings almost ready to fledge. At first
light after a stormy night, a Grey Currawong lurked in the vicinity
of the nest. It may not have been the villain but I swear it was
doing the equivalent of licking its lips.
We have the responsibility to care for this bird
which is listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act meaning
that it is in decline and prone to future threats that are likely
to result in its extinction.
Rufous Bristlebird call is extremely strong and carrying:
chip, chip, chip, chip, chowee chew, the last three notes repeated
by the female.
scouce: Anglesea, a Natural History Study