Nature conservation

Threatened species

White-fronted Chat - profile

Indicative distribution

   Loading map...
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: Epthianura albifrons
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 23 Apr 2010
Profile last updated: 13 Dec 2021


The White-fronted Chat is an endemic Australian passerine bird, 12 cm in length and weighing approximately 13 g. It has a short slender bill, long spindly legs, a short square-tipped tail and rounded wings. Classified as a honeyeater it is most similar in form to its close relatives, the Orange Chat, Yellow Chat and Crimson Chat from which it is easily distinguished by its black and white colouration. The male's plumage is more striking than the females; juvenile plumage is most similar to the female. A distinctive ‘tang, tang’ is used as a contact call.


The White-fronted Chat is found across the southern half of Australia, from southernmost Queensland to southern Tasmania, and across to Western Australia as far north as Carnarvon. Found mostly in temperate to arid climates and very rarely sub-tropical areas, it occupies foothills and lowlands up to 1000 m above sea level. In NSW, it occurs mostly in the southern half of the state, in damp open habitats along the coast, and near waterways in the western part of the state. Along the coastline, it is found predominantly in saltmarsh vegetation but also in open grasslands and sometimes in low shrubs bordering wetland areas.

Habitat and ecology

  • Gregarious species, usually found foraging on bare or grassy ground in wetland areas, singly or in pairs. They are insectivorous, feeding mainly on flies and beetles caught from or close to the ground.
  • Have been observed breeding from late July through to early March, with 'open-cup' nests built in low vegetation. Nests in the Sydney region have also been seen in low isolated mangroves. Nests are usually built about 23 cm above the ground (but have been found up to 2.5 m above the ground).
  • Two to three eggs are laid in each clutch, and the complete nesting cycle from nest-building to independent young is approximately 50 days
  • Birds can breed at one year of age and are estimated to live for five years.

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
Australian AlpsSnowy Mountains Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Plains Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Range Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthNarrandool Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthTalbragar Valley Known None
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Known None
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Outwash Known None
Broken Hill ComplexMootwingee Downs Predicted None
Broken Hill ComplexScopes Range Predicted None
Channel CountryBulloo Predicted None
Channel CountryBulloo Dunefields Predicted None
Channel CountryCentral Depression Predicted None
Channel CountryCore Ranges Predicted None
Channel CountrySturt Stony Desert Known None
Cobar PeneplainBarnato Downs Known None
Cobar PeneplainBoorindal Plains Predicted None
Cobar PeneplainCanbelego Downs Known None
Cobar PeneplainLachlan Plains Known None
Cobar PeneplainNymagee Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsBogan-Macquarie Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsCastlereagh-Barwon Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsCulgoa-Bokhara Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsGreat Darling Anabranch Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsLouth Plains Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsMenindee Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsPooncarie-Darling Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsWilcannia Plains Known None
Mulga LandsCuttaburra-Paroo Predicted None
Mulga LandsKerribree Basin Predicted None
Mulga LandsNebine Plains Known None
Mulga LandsParoo Overflow Known None
Mulga LandsParoo-Darling Sands Known None
Mulga LandsUrisino Sandplains Known None
Mulga LandsWarrego Sands Predicted None
Mulga LandsWest Warrego Known None
Mulga LandsWhite Cliffs Plateau Predicted None
Murray Darling DepressionDarling Depression Known None
Murray Darling DepressionSouth Olary Plain Known None
NandewarPeel Known None
New England TablelandsEastern Nandewars Predicted None
NSW North CoastKaruah Manning Known None
NSW North CoastMacleay Hastings Known None
NSW North CoastUpper Hunter Known None
NSW South Western SlopesCapertee Valley Known None
NSW South Western SlopesInland Slopes Known None
NSW South Western SlopesLower Slopes Known None
OceanBatemans Shelf Known None
OceanHawkesbury Shelf Known None
OceanTwofold Shelf Known None
Ocean - Other StateSouthern Australian Coastal Waters Known None
Other StateACT Known None
Other StateJervis Bay Territory Predicted None
Other StateQLD Known None
Other StateSA Known None
Other StateVIC Known None
RiverinaLachlan Known None
RiverinaMurray Fans Known None
RiverinaMurray Scroll Belt Known None
RiverinaMurrumbidgee Known None
RiverinaRobinvale Plains Known None
Simpson Strzelecki DunefieldsStrzelecki Desert Known None
South East CornerBateman Known None
South East CornerEast Gippsland Lowlands Known None
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBathurst Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBondo Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Known None
South Eastern HighlandsCapertee Uplands Known None
South Eastern HighlandsCrookwell Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMonaro Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMurrumbateman Known None
South Eastern HighlandsOrange Predicted None
Sydney BasinBurragorang Predicted None
Sydney BasinCumberland Known None
Sydney BasinEttrema Predicted None
Sydney BasinHunter Known None
Sydney BasinIllawarra Known None
Sydney BasinJervis Known None
Sydney BasinKerrabee Known None
Sydney BasinWollemi Known None
Sydney BasinWyong Known None
Sydney BasinYengo Known None