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Atrichornithidae – Scrub-birds

Noisy Scrubbird in Australia: Photo by Jake Harfield

Atrichornithidae, also known as scrub-birds, are a small family of two birds endemic to Australia.

Overview of Atrichornithidae

These inhabitants of dense scrubland on Australia’s eastern and western edges are experts at remaining hidden. Many bird enthusiasts have spent countless hours listening to their melodic songs without catching even a glimpse of them. With bodies that are laterally compressed like some rails, they effortlessly navigate through the undergrowth, making them elusive and challenging to observe. The fortunate few who have spotted these birds likely witnessed them darting across a road or gap in the shrubbery with their tails raised, reminiscent of tapaculos. Scrub-birds are notable for being the only passerines believed to lack a furcula, a bone present in nearly all other birds.