Eastern Spinebill (species: Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) in Mares Forest NP (Gaia Guide)
Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
Eastern Spinebill

©Leo: Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris)

©Charlie: Eastern Spinebill at Bulahdelah

©Lip Kee Yap: Eastern spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae
Genus Acanthorhynchus
Species Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

The male has a long thin downcurved black bill with a black head, white throat with a reddish patch and red iris. It has a brownish-red nape, a grey brown back and pale cinnamon underparts. The dark tail is tipped with white laterally. Females and juveniles are smaller and duller. (Wikipedia)


  • From 13 cm to 16 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Wingspan data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

They are found in dry sclerophyll forest, scrub and heathland from the Cooktown area in North Queensland south through New South Wales east of the Great Dividing Range, through Victoria and into the Flinders Ranges in eastern South Australia as well as throughout Tasmania.

Adaptable, they can be found in urban gardens with sufficient vegetation to act as cover and a food source. (Wikipedia)


It feeds on nectar from many plants, including the blooms of gum trees, mistletoes (Amyema), Epacris longiflora, Epacris impressa (common heath), Correa reflexa, and various members of the Proteaceae such as Banksia ericifolia, Banksia integrifolia, Lambertia formosa and Grevillea speciosa, as well as small insects and other invertebrates.

A 1982 study in the New England National Park in North-eastern New South Wales found that there was a large influx of birds coinciding with the start of flowering of Banksia spinulosa there.

They have been known to feed from exotic plants such as fuchsias. (Wikipedia)

Web resources