Grey Fantail

Did you know?

The nest of the Grey Fantail has a long tapering stem that resembles a wine-glass.

Calls
Ascending, tinkling, whistles and squeaks.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
14cm
Maximum Size: 
16cm
Average size: 
15cm
Average weight: 
9g
Breeding season: 
July to January
Clutch Size: 
2 to 3
Incubation: 
14 days
Nestling Period: 
21 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
QLD: 
SA: 
TAS: 
VIC: 
WA: 
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
361
What does it look like?
Description: 

The Grey Fantail is most easily recognised by its constantly fanned tail and agile aerial twists and turns. Both sexes are similar in appearance: grey above, with white eyebrow, throat and tail edges. This species is quite inquisitive and will closely approach an observer.

Similar species: 

Willie Wagtail, Rufous Fantail

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The Grey Fantail is found throughout Australia.

Habitat: 

The Grey Fantail is found in most treed habitats.

Seasonal movements: 

Appears to undergo a partial northern migration during winter.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

The Grey Fantail feeds on flying insects, which it catches by chasing them from the edge of foliage at all levels in the canopy.

Breeding: 

The Grey Fantail builds its nest in a thin tree-fork, unusually between 2 and 5 metres from the ground. It is made of fine grass bound together with large amounts of spider web. The bottom of the nest is drawn out into a long stem, resembling that of a wine-glass. Both parents share nest-building, incubation of the eggs and feeding of the young when they hatch.

Living with us

The Grey Fantail occasionally visits densely-planted urban gardens, particularly during the winter migration. Often makes use of eucalypt trees.

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