Brush Bronzewing

Did you know?

15 nests with 29 eggs were watched to see the outcome and only 3 chicks survived to leave the nest.

low repeated hoop or whoo, can continue for minutes
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
Minimum Size: 
Maximum Size: 
Average size: 
Average weight: 
Breeding season: 
Sept-Jan main breeding season but eggs and chicks have been found in all months.
Clutch Size: 
17 days
Nestling Period: 
16 days
Conservation Status
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Atlas Number: 
What does it look like?

The Brush Bronzewing is a dark olive-brown above with rich chestnut nape and shoulders, with blue-grey underparts. There are two curved bronze irridescent blue-green bars across each wing. A dark, chestnut stripe through eyes, underlined by white and a chestnut throat patch are distinguishing features. The male has a chestnut forehead. The female lacks the forehead patch and is generally duller.

Similar species: 

The Common Bronzewing is similar to the Brush Bronzewing but smaller and lacks the scaly pattern on the wings. The Common Bronzewing lacks the dark line through the eye and the throat patch, and the male has a buff forehead.

Where does it live?

This species occurs around the coast from Fraser Island and adjacent mainland Qld, round to the Eyre Peninsula in SA, although absent just north of the NSW border and at the top of the Spencer Gulf in SA. A geographically separate population occupies the southwest corner of WA, and the species also occurs in Tasmania and coastal islands.


The Brush Bronzewing inhabits areas with a dense shrub layer, and so can occur in the grassy heathlands near the coast and behind sand dunes, or further inland in wet or dry forests or woodlands including dense mallee.

Seasonal movements: 

Little is known for certain but it is thought that they are resident year-round, moving only locally in response to changes in food supplies.

What does it do?

These birds feed exclusively on the ground on seeds of various plants. They are most commonly seen as singles or pairs, with flocking being a rarely-reported occurrence and then only of less than 10 birds at a time. They drink at dawn or dusk, alighting some distance from the water then cautiously making their way to the edge to drink.


While October to January is the most likely time to find nests, these fragile, slightly cupped platforms of twigs and sticks have been found with eggs or chicks in every month. The female builds the nest on the ground or in trees but more commonly in dense brush. Once the two eggs are laid, the female incubates during the day. Little is known about wild birds, but those in captivity sit for 15-18 days before the chicks hatch. The chicks fledge at about 16 days and the young remain with their parents until they nest again, which can be as little as 3 to 4 weeks later.

Living with us

Like many birds, the clearing of their habitats has restricted their ranges, although there is some indication that the spread of clover in WA has led to an increase in number.

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