Rufous Fantail

Rufous Fantail clutching to a vertical branchWhat does it look and sound like? Within Australia, there are five species of fantail.  Of these, the Rufous Fantail is undoubtedly the most colourful. Its long grey-brown tail, with bright rufous base, is fanned out as it busily flits from tree to tree.  The rump is also rufous in colour, as is the forehead, while the remaining plumage is brown above and white below, with black mottling on the throat.

Where does it live? Its range extends in a broad coastal band from the Kimberleys, Western Australia, through northern and eastern Australia to western Victoria.

What are its habitats and habits? The Rufous Fantail prefers the wetter forest and woodlands, and is a familiar sight in rainforest, dense eucalypt forest and mangroves.  Similar in habits to other fantails, it actively forages among the foliage for insects.   The Rufous Fantail is a confiding and inquisitive bird, and often approaches close to an observer.  The Rufous Fantail is a strongly migratory species, especially in the southern areas of its range, and is more common in the north.

Scientific name: Rhipidura rufifrons

Size: 15 to 18 cm

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