Fantail Stock Video Footage


The fantails are small bodied (11.5–21 cm long) birds with long tails in some species the tail is longer than the body and in most the tail is longer than the wing. When the tail is folded it is rounded at the end, but when spread in display or aerial foraging it has a characteristic fan shape that gives the family its name. Fantails adopt a hunched horizontal posture most of the time, with the wings drooped and held away from the body and the tail half cocked. There are some exceptions to this, particularly the northern fantail of New Guinea and the Cockerell's fantail of the Solomon Islands, which have a more upright posture reminiscent of the monarch flycatchers. The wings of fantails are tapered and have sacrificed speed for agility, making fantails highly efficient at catching insect prey. Overall the fantails are strong fliers, and some species can undertake long migrations, but the thicket fantails (sooty thicket fantail, white-bellied thicket fantail and black thicket fantail) are very weak fliers, and need to alight regularly. The bills of fantails are typical for aerial insect eating birds, being flat and triangular. The gape is surrounded by two rows of rictal bristles which are long, often as long as the bill. The bills of most species are fairly weak, limiting fantails to softer insects, although the more terrestrial willie wagtail has a stronger bill. The plumage of most fantails shows some variation, most species are relatively uniform with some mar...

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