Capricorn Yellow Chat

Yellow Chat or reeds

Epthianura crocea macgregori

Yellow Chats are about 11 centimetres long—similar to the size of a sparrow. Male birds are mainly yellow, with a bright golden-yellow head and a blackish band on their upper chest. Adult females are duller and don’t have the distinctive chest band of the males.

Food and habitat

Capricorn Yellow Chats feed, nest and breed at Twelve Mile Creek, just south of Rockhampton, not far from Marmor. They also live elsewhere in the Fitzroy Delta and north of Rockhampton. You can spot them by keeping a close eye on reeds, samphire and grasses or on the mud around pools of water. That’s where they flit around and snap up insects to feed on. Look out for a flash of yellow as they fly away!

It’s easiest to see them during the breeding season between October and March. At that time they’re joined by thousands of wading birds in saltmarshes and shallow wetlands where they live. The grasses, samphire and reeds are perfect hideouts for small birds, particularly where pool edges are muddy with lots of invertebrate food.

Conservation

There’s less than 300 Capricorn Yellow Chats left, it’s listed as critically endangered. Any changes to water flows into their breeding habitat could affect the breeding success of Yellow Chats (and many other animals). There’s an extremely high risk that they will become extinct in the wild if they don’t breed successfully. If we can take care of these areas, then the native plants and animals will survive better.

If you spot a Yellow Chat, please report your sighting so we can learn more about the yellow chats and their habitat. Contact FBA to report a sighting.

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