What is the White-fronted Chat and why is it so special?
The White-fronted Chat Epthianura albifrons is a small (11-13cm) insectivorous bird that inhabits open, coastal and swampy habitats throughout south-eastern NSW. The bird is characterised by a black band that wraps around its chest, a grey back and white belly. Males have a distinct white face. Females are duller and lack white facial plumage. Both sexes have pink-white eyes.
They form flocks of up to 20 individuals and are most commonly seen foraging on the ground amongst saltmarsh vegetation, primarily Sarcocornia quinqueflora however they are also known to feed amongst other vegetation such as grasses. Flocks are readily disturbed by humans or dogs which causes the birds to take flight. Individuals regularly call to one another; their call is described as a soft, nasal “tang”.
Urban development has caused serious decline in viable habitat for this species which was once more common in the Sydney region. It is now restricted to one population of 20-25 birds centred at Towra Point Nature Reserve, Kurnell. A smaller population at Homebush Bay is likely to have recently gone extinct.
If you happen to be in the Botany Bay region between Maroubra in the north and Cronulla in the south, look out for this special little bird.
Any sighting is valuable scientific information and will be taken seriously!
If you think you have encountered a White-fronted Chat
Contact Kurtis Lindsay, Honours student at Macquarie University and the Australian Museum
Email: kurtis.lindsay@students.mq.edu.au Mobile: 0424072670

3 Responses to “Have you seen a White-Fronted Chat”
  1. Kevin Dawes says:

    I photographed a pair of male White-Fronted Chats at Maude (Near Hay NSW) on the Murrumbidgee two weeks ago. Are your interested in a copy of the photos or are you focussing on the Kurnell population?

  2. Kurtis says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for that kind offer! I would very much like to see your photo. Feel free to email it through to me (my contact details are above).



  3. Debra Munzel says:

    My husband and myself photographed a male white fronted chat on the west side of Kow Swamp near Gunbower vic

Leave a Reply