Striated Pardalote

Pardalotus striatus

Striated Pardalote. Credit: John Gitsham

Pardalotes are diminutive birds, weighing only about 12 g. They live high in the outer reaches of the canopy and are not easily seen unless you are looking hard for them. Their calls, however, are surprisingly loud for such a small bird and are one of the characteristic sounds of spring, especially a two note “wit-chu” , sometimes linked by a middle note “do-a dit”.

Striated Pardalotes are a resident species although there is some local movement particularly from the Mt. Lofty ranges to the foothills in the winter months, when they are often to be seen in suburban Adelaide gardens. They breed from July to December, making a globular nest of soft, dry grasses and bark fibre, sometimes lined with rootlets. The nest is usually placed in hollows in branches or in tunnels in creek banks and road cuttings if tree hollows are not available.

The short, chisel-shaped bill is ideal for levering off the sugary covering, or lerp, of sap-sucking insects called psyllids. They also take manna (the sugary fluid exuded by damaged plants), honeydew (the sugary secretion of plant-sucking insects such as aphids) and insects.

Their small size means they are often chased off foraging areas by larger birds such as honeyeaters and especially Miners.


The Striated Pardalote’s back is a plain light brown, the front a pale off-white with a yellow bib. The top of the head is black with white specks set off by a bold white eyebrow that is bright yellow near the beak. The wings are black with a white panel that is marked at the start with a red or yellow spot. The tail is a short square wedge, black with white tips.

Where to find it

Striated Pardalotes can be found across South Australia and forage in a wide range of gums and mallee trees.