Lifer 341: Mallee Emu-wren

For a birder, one of the main targets for a visit to Hattah Kulkyne National Park is the Mallee Emu-wren. It is a close cousin to the Southern Emu-wren that I have found a few times in different areas along the southern coast of Victoria. At Hattah I was up early and looking for this elusive little bird as the sun rose. I was probably a bit too early as they seemed to need the sun to warm up a bit and become active. Once up and about they were quite noisy (high pitched squeaks and trills), and reacted well to the phishing noises I made to get their attention. I saw three family groups along the track and managed to photograph several individuals as they came out to investigate my presence.

Mallee Emu-wren, Nowingi Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Female Mallee Emu-wren, Nowingi Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Mallee Emu-wren, Nowingi Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

II

Mallee Emu-wren, Nowingi Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

III

Mallee Emu-wren, Nowingi Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

The Emu-wren can quickly dive back into the spiky grass and disappear  – there is no way you could see them unless they were perched on top of the grass clump

Mallee Emu-wren, Nowingi Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

The male’s blue throat can give away their presence in the grass. 

Mallee Emu-wren, Nowingi Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Hunting flies for breakfast.

Mallee Emu-wren, Nowingi Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

A typical pose when looking out for danger or watching for intruders from neighbouring tribes.

Mallee Emu-wren, Nowingi Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

In this position the tails hangs down, the muscles are probably needed just to keep that pose.

Emu, Nowingi Track, Hattah Kulkyne National Park, Vic

Emu walking down the Nowingi Track, the typical vegetation of the Mallee Emu-wren, more trees and other vegetation variety compared to the needs of the Southern Emu-wren. 

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