Nature conservation

Threatened species

Striated Fieldwren - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Calamanthus fuliginosus
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 23 Apr 2010
Profile last updated: 01 Dec 2017


The Striated Fieldwren is a small (140 mm), skulking, cock-tailed, wren-like bird of coastal heaths. It is tawny-olive in colour, paler below, and distinctively streaked with black all over. The cocked tail has a whitish tip. The male is distinguished by having white eye-brows, lores and throat. These are shades of brown on the female. The song is strong and whirring, with individuals usually calling from the tops of bushes. Can be confused with other streaked shrub- and ground-dwelling species, such as Little Grassbird, Chestnut-rumped Heathwren and Australian Pipit, though habitat, plumage and behaviour should all be used to confirm identification.

The Fieldwren has been split into two geographically separated species - the coastal Striated Fieldwren C. fuliginosus and the inland Rufous Fieldwren C. campestris. Both are now listed as threatened in NSW and so each now has a separate profile.


The Striated Fieldwren is found in coastal swamp heaths and tussock fields of south-eastern NSW, into southern Victoria and the south-east of South Australia. It is also found in Tasmania. There are four recognised subspecies, but only one (albiloris) occurs in NSW. Most records are from two main regions - the far south coast (Nadgee NR and Ben Boyd NP) and in Morton NP (Little Forest, Tianjara Falls) though there are scattered records in between these two areas (particularly in coastal habitats). Is occasionally recorded further north with records at Bilpin (1979), Kurnell (1979) and Mittagong (1992), though there do not appear to be resident populations at any of these sites.

Habitat and ecology

  • Mainly a bird of ground and understorey vegetation, and can be found in swampy, coastal heathlands, tussocky grasslands, low shrubby vegetation and margins of swamps.
  • Forages by working through the undergrowth and over the ground, cock-tailed and hopping, feeding on insects and seeds.
  • Often hops to the top of a bush to investigate any disturbance; males sing in territorial advertisement from such vantage points.
  • Appears to have a very long breeding season (eggs have been recorded in NSW between July and January) and in fact may raise two broods per season.
  • Three to four eggs are laid in nests hidden on the ground under tussocks or shrubs; nests are dome-like structures constructed from course grasses and other fibres; the interior is lined with softer grasses feathers and down.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
OceanBatemans Shelf Known None
OceanTwofold Shelf Known None
Ocean - Other StateSouthern Australian Coastal Waters Known None
Other StateJervis Bay Territory Predicted None
Other StateSA Known None
Other StateVIC Known None
South East CornerBateman Known None
South East CornerEast Gippsland Lowlands Known None
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Known None
Sydney BasinEttrema Known None
Sydney BasinJervis Known None