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Pardalote

Pardalote

[pahr-dl-oht]

Pardalotes are very small, brightly coloured birds native to Australia, with short tails, strong legs, and stubby blunt beaks. There are four species in the genus, Pardalotus, and several subspecies. Pardalotes form part of the family Pardalotidae. The name derives from a Greek word meaning "spotted".

Pardalotes spend most of their time high in the outer foliage of trees, feeding on insects, spiders, and above all lerps (a type of sap sucking insect). Their role in controlling lerp infestations in the eucalyptus forests of Australia may be significant.

They generally live in pairs or small family groups but sometimes come together into flocks after breeding. All four species nest in deep horizontal tunnels drilled into banks of earth. Externally about the size of a mouse-hole, they can be very deep, at a metre or more. Some species also nest in tree hollows.

Species

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