Ashbyia lovensisgibberbird

Geographic Range

Ashbyia lovensis is endemic to the arid parts of central Australia. Ashbyia lovensis occupies a large geographic range, which extends from South Australia to Northeast Australia. Gibberbirds, are endemic to south and northeast gibber plains of Australia. ("Ashbyia lovensis (Ashby, 1911)", 2006; "Gibberbird Ashbyia lovensis", 2015)


Gibberbirds occupy three habitats in Australia. Although, the desert is the most common place for gibberbirds to live, they have also been found in grassland and rocky areas. Their optimal environment is a hot climate as well as a subtropical or tropical dry environment. Gibberbirds have been recorded between altitudes of 93 to 110 meters. ("Gibberbird Ashbyia lovensis", 2015)

  • Range elevation
    0 to 110 m
    0.00 to 360.89 ft

Physical Description

In gibberbirds, males and females have a characteristic yellow cheek, throat, and underparts. As camouflage they use the sandy brown colored crown and upper parts. They often travel alone, or in pairs or in small groups. Average adult size is 13 cm and weigh 18 g. ("Anamilia Life", 2014; "Ashbyia lovensis (Ashby, 1911)", 2006)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • sexes alike
  • Average mass
    18 g
    0.63 oz
  • Average length
    13 cm
    5.12 in


Gibberbirds attract their mating partners using songs, twittering calls and piping. Beyond reproductive calls, there is little information of the behavior of gibberbirds available. ("Anamilia Life", 2014)

Not much is known about the mating behavior of gibberbirds. They generally breed in spring, but have been observed breeding other times of the year. Currently there are three eggs in a museum in Australia that are believed to be gibberbird eggs. They were found in a tightly knit nest in the desert and were pink in color with brown spots at the ends. ("Anamilia Life", 2014; Waite, 1916)

  • Range eggs per season
    2 to 4

There is no information available regarding the parental investment of Ashbyia lovensis, but if the museum specimens are indeed eggs of gibberbirds, then one or both parents must provide some care at the nest.


Gibberbirds have a lifespan of 5.8 years. Data has not been recorded on A. lovensis lifespan in captivity. ("Gibberbird Ashbyia lovensis", 2015)

  • Average lifespan
    Status: wild
    5.8 years


Ashbyia lovensis has been seen flying by themselves or in small groups. ("Anamilia Life", 2014)

Home Range

Ashbyia lovensis is endemic to the arid parts of central Australia. ("Ashbyia lovensis (Ashby, 1911)", 2006)

Communication and Perception

Ashbyia lovensis use their songs are a form of communication. Like other birds, they most likely use vision for perception. ("Anamilia Life", 2014)

Food Habits

Gibberbirds are insectivores as well as granivores; they consume both seeds and insects as their main source of nutrition. They forage alone or in small groups. ("Anamilia Life", 2014)

  • Animal Foods
  • insects
  • Plant Foods
  • seeds, grains, and nuts


Gibberbirds use their brown colored feathers as a form of camouflage against their arid background. This may suggest that their predators may be large mammals or lizards that live in Australian deserts. ("Anamilia Life", 2014; "Gibberbird Ashbyia lovensis", 2015; Pianka, 1969)

  • Anti-predator Adaptations
  • cryptic

Ecosystem Roles

The roles that gibberbirds play in the ecosystem are not well studied. ("Gibberbird Ashbyia lovensis", 2015)

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

The benefits that Ashbyia lovensis provides to humans is minimal. ("Anamilia Life", 2014)

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no known adverse affects of Ashbyia lovensis on humans. ("Anamilia Life", 2014)

Conservation Status

The habitats that gibberbirds occupy are not in danger at this point in time. Gibberbirds are not in risk of extinction. They are categorized as least concern in the IUCN red list history chart. Their population size has been increasing smoothly for the past 27 years on record. ("Gibberbird Ashbyia lovensis", 2015)


Ruth Sanchez (author), The College of New Jersey, Matthew Wund (editor), The College of New Jersey, Tanya Dewey (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.



Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.

World Map


uses sound to communicate


Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.


an animal that mainly eats meat


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate


having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.

desert or dunes

in deserts low (less than 30 cm per year) and unpredictable rainfall results in landscapes dominated by plants and animals adapted to aridity. Vegetation is typically sparse, though spectacular blooms may occur following rain. Deserts can be cold or warm and daily temperates typically fluctuate. In dune areas vegetation is also sparse and conditions are dry. This is because sand does not hold water well so little is available to plants. In dunes near seas and oceans this is compounded by the influence of salt in the air and soil. Salt limits the ability of plants to take up water through their roots.


animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.


an animal that mainly eats seeds


An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.


An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.


offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).


having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


uses touch to communicate


the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.


A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.


uses sight to communicate


2014. "Anamilia Life" (On-line). Accessed November 16, 2015 at

2006. "Ashbyia lovensis (Ashby, 1911)" (On-line). Accessed November 16, 2015 at

2015. "Gibberbird Ashbyia lovensis" (On-line). Accessed November 16, 2015 at

Miller, A. 1962. Bimodal occurrence of breeding in an equatorial sparrow. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 48/3: 396–400.

Miller, E., A. Zanne, R. Ricklefs. 2013. Niche conservatism constrains Australian honeyeater assemblages in stressful environments. Ecology Letters, 16/9: 1186-1194. Accessed October 04, 2015 at

Pianka, E. 1969. Habitat specificity, speciation, and species density in Australian desert lizards. Ecology, 50: 498-502.

Waite, E. 1916. Note on the Finding of the Nest and Eggs of the Desert Chat (Ashbyia lovensis, Ashby). EMU, 16/3: 167 - 168.