Northern Fantail

Northern Fantail perched on a tree branchWhat does it look and sound like? The plumage of the Northern Fantail is grey to blackish above, with a small whitish eyebrow, cream belly and white vent. The breast is paler grey with numerous vertical ‘tear-drop’ streaks, and the throat is white.

Where does it live? Also known as the Timor Fantail, this species has a large range that includes Australia, PNG and Indonesia.

What are its habitats and habits? Within Australia it is found in lowland tropical and subtropical forests, dense vine thickets, mangrove fringes and some woodlands from north-western WA to north-eastern Qld. Unlike other fantails, it does not display the typical fanned tail and constant activity, instead the tail is squarish and it sits motionless for periods of time between foraging flights.

Scientific name: Rhipidura rufiventris

Do you want to know the best places to go to see this species? Check out our book “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots” – available for purchase through our secure online store