Slender-billed Thornbill (Acanthiza iredalei)

The slender-billed thornbill is a small bird species belonging to the family of hummingbirds. They are known for their unique appearance and behavior. As the name suggests, they have a slender bill that is quite long and thin, which helps them extract nectar from flowers.

These birds have a greenish-olive upper body with a white throat, buffy-colored breast, and a slightly curved, pointed tail. They also have a rusty-colored patch on their wings. They have a typical hummingbird flight pattern, which is marked by rapid wing beats and hovering mid-air, often in front of flowers, from which they sip nectar with their long beak.

Slender-billed thornbills are found in the Andean regions of South America, primarily in high-altitude forests and shrublands. They are social birds and are often seen in small flocks. They are known for their vocalization, which includes a high-pitched chipping sound that can be heard from some distance.

The slender-billed thornbill is a nectar specialist and feeds primarily on flower nectar. However, they also consume insects, which they hunt by hovering mid-air and plucking them from leaves and flowers. They breed between August to December, and during this period, they build a small nest made of soft, fine plant fibers. The nest is often placed on the branches of trees, typically close to the flowers the birds feed on. The female lays two tiny eggs, which take about 15 days to hatch.

Although the slender-billed thornbill is not considered to be threatened, their population is declining due to habitat loss, particularly in their western range. These birds play a vital role in pollination, and their survival is crucial for maintaining the balance of ecosystems. Thus, conservation efforts are essential to protect these birds and their habitats from further degradation.

Other names

Acanthiza iredalei



Slender-billed Thornbill

acantiça d'Iredale



ljuskastočela trnokljunka

střízlíkovec jihoaustralský

Tyndnæbbet Mejsesanger



Acanthize d’Iredale


Beccospino beccosottile


plonasnapis spygliasnapis


buszówka mała


Земляная шипоклювка

Tankokljuna trnokljunka

ostrozobka štíhlozobá

Acantiza de Iredale


Boz Dikengaga

шиподзьоб карликовий