The header photo above is of our local Varied Sittella. Varied Sittellas are endemic to Australia and widespread across the mainland. However, their plumage is quite different depending on your location. Our local bird is called the White-winged Varied Sittella and has distinct white wings in flight. They do tend to be very vocal in flight and feed in the dense foliage. The way they feed is very similar to a Nuthatch. They always appear to feed downwards and often upside-down.

We have observed Varied Sittellas once flying over our home, but generally we observe them around thirty kilometres from town. One reliable place is the banks of the Fitzroy River. On our recent camping trip we had Varied Sittellas around our camp the whole time. The reason for this was that juvenile birds had recently left the nest. We don’t know where the nest was this year, but we have seen them in the past in a fork of a tree.

The adult Varied Sittellas were very vocal as they came back and forth with food. The two juveniles were balancing in a tree just on the edge of our camp. Here are some photos of the juvenile Varied Sittellas waiting for their next meal.

Juvenile White-winged Varied Sittellas

Varied Sittellas are one of the smallest bird species in Australia at 10-11cm long. Despite their size they are a vocal bird and that is often what gives them away. It is one of many bird species that we get to enjoy when we go camping.

Written by Clare M
Clare and her husband, Grant, have lived permanently in Broome, Western Australia since 1999 after living in various outback locations around Western Australia and Darwin. She has lived in the Middle East and the United States and traveled extensively in Europe. She monitors Pied Oystercatchers breeding along a 23km stretch of Broome's coastline by bicycle and on foot. She chooses not to participate in social media, but rather wander off into the bush for peace and tranquility. Thankfully she can write posts in advance and get away from technology!