Grey Fantail

Rhipidura albiscapa

(Birds of Drouin booklet P14)


Size: 140-170mm

Sexes alike. Familiar, mostly all grey bird with a short, white eyebrow. White throat. White tips on some wing feathers. Lighter chest and belly. Whiskers around the base of the bill. A fan tail with white edges and tips.


A high-pitched, tinny, series of silvery notes.



Most of mainland Australia except for parts of the very arid centre.

Map credit:


Builds a beautiful ‘wine glass’ nest of fine grasses, bark and spider web. Often low down in a horizontal fork. Breeds from July to December.


Grey Fantails will occupy wet forests, woodlands, heathlands and wetland fringes, coastal scrub, urban parkland and gardens. Conspicuous and confiding, often inquisitive of approaching humans. Grey Fantails are seen mostly in pairs but in winter they often appear in small groups. They feed on insects taken both on the wing and from the ground. Common, abundant in some localities and mostly sedentary.