Yellow Thornbill

Harsh, scratchy two-note calls: 'tzid-id' or 'tzid-id, tis-tis'.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
Average size: 
Average weight: 
Breeding season: 
July to March
Clutch Size: 
Three to four.
17 days
Conservation Status
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
What does it look like?

The Yellow Thornbill is a small to medium-sized thornbill and is the most yellow of the thornbill group. It is greenish-olive on the back, with white streaking on the cheeks and ears, and has pale to bright yellow underparts. There is a reddish brown tone on the chin and throat. The young birds are similar but duller.

Similar species: 

The Yellow Thornbill is distinguished from the Yellow-rumped Thornbill due to the pale to bright yellow which extends along the belly rather than simply on the rump of the bird.

Where does it live?

The Yellow Thornbill is found along the eastern states of Australia from the bottom half of Queensland, through most of NSW and all of Victoria. Its distribution also extends into South Australia.


The Yellow Thornbill is found in open forests, woodlands and shrublands which are dominated by Casuarinas, Acacias or paperbarks rather than eucalypts. Often seen in parks and gardens, preferring more established areas.

Seasonal movements: 


What does it do?

The Yellow Thornbill feeds mainly on insects, but may sometimes eat seeds. They feed almost exclusively in the foliage of trees, most often Acacias, paperbarks, casuarinas and native pines.


Breeding pairs of Yellow Thornbills may sometimes have helpers to assist them with feeding the young. Females build a rounded domed nest, with a narrow, hooded entrance near the top, out of grasses, bark and other materials, lining it with feathers, fur or soft plant down. The nest is usually in twigs of upper tree branches. The female incubates the eggs alone, but both parents (and possibly helpers) feed the young.

Living with us

Researchers found that the Yellow Thornbill was not found in newer urban developments in one study, but was found in more established areas.

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