Jackie Winter

Quick Facts

Length: 13 cm
Height: -
Weight: 15 grams
Colour: grey-brown, faint pale eye-line and white underbody. Dark tail with prominent white outer feather
Habitat: Open woodland with bare ground, farmland and parks
Food: Flying insects
Predators: -
Status: Not Present in TAS. Secure in all other states and territories
Jackie Winter

The Jacky Winter is a small grey-brown flycatcher with a faint pale eye-line and white underbody. The dark tail has prominent white outer feathers which are obvious when it lands, wagging his tail from side to side. The Jacky Winter typically sits upright on a bare branch or perch, wagging its tail and uttering its 'peter-peter' call. There are three sub-species, with slight geographical variation, darker in the south and paler in the far north and inland. This species is also known as the Brown Flycatcher, Postboy, White-tail or Peter-Peter.

The Jacky Winter is widely distributed in mainland Australia and in south east New Guinea.

Jacky Winters prefer open woodland with an open shrub layer and a lot of bare ground. They are often seen in farmland and parks.

Jacky Winters dart out from a perch to snatch at flying insects, returning to the same perch again. They dive and twist in the air, hovering and grabbing at insects.

During breeding, the Jacky Winter sings constantly and has high, slow song-flights. The cup-shaped nest is very small and made from grass and strips of bark, bound with spiders web on the fork of a dead branch. The female incubates the eggs and probably broods the young, fed by the male. They may raise several broods in a season. Their nest is always in an exposed position, clear of leaves.

The Jacky Winter often decorates the outside of its nest with bits of bark or lichen, bound with spider web, making it look just like the branch it is built on.

Numbers have declined substantially in some areas, particularly in the south, from clearing for farming or housing. Jacky Winters can be quite tame and familiar in some areas.

Author: Rosalyn Plunkett
Last Updated: Wednesday 17th July, 2013


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