The Sandstone Shrike-Thrush Bird Sings Merry Christmas from Keep River National Park

Wondering what Norther brought you today? Wonder no more!

🎶On the sixth day of Christmas, Norther brought me…

a mysterious Sandstone Shrike-Thrush Bird 🐦

And a gorgeous hike at Keep River National Park!

Sandstone Shrike-Thrush Bird in Keep River National Park

COMMON NAME: Sandstone Shrike-Thrush

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Colluricincla Woodwardi

TYPE: Bird

DIET: Small lizards, grasshoppers and spiders.

SIZE: 24cm Long.

What does the Sandstone Shrike-Thrush Bird Look Like?

These beautiful cinnamon coloured friendly birds are an excellent mirror to their habitat. They are soo pretty! Their lores( this is the region between the eye and bill on the side of a bird’s head) and throat are buff-coloured, the rest of the front is cinnamon, with fine streaks of grey on the breast. Their heads are grey and their backs are greyish-brown. When in flight their feathers are dark-grey, with brown edges lining with a dark grey-brown tail. This is slightly different in younger birds as their underparts are paler and often have more streaks. The most evident difference between the two sexes is that males have a black bill, while that of females is bluish-grey.

Where does the Sandstone Shrike-Thrush Bird Live?

The Sandstone Shrike-thrush is sedentary and established pairs hold the same large territory all year round. Their nest is a bulky bowl of interwoven, thin roots, spinifex grass, and bark. The nest is often lined with finer rootlets and grasses. (This protects the eggies!) They like to hide their nests in cracks or holes in a sandstone cliff (nice views).  During the breeding season, the male Stoney becomes fiercely territorial, protecting a cluster of up to 30 females in an area of up to 100 hectares. They also provide support to the nesting females travelling from nest to nest offering food. (How nice is that!) The females only lay two or three eggies which look pearly white with well-defined brown-black, brown and slate-grey spots. Their incubation period takes about 16 days.

What does the Sandstone Shrike-Thrush Bird Eat?

They like to forage in pairs among rocks for small lizards, grasshoppers and spiders. (eek!) Since they are ground birds they like to forage on foot then move on to the next feeding site.

Aren’t these birdies soo BEAUTIful!!!! Now that you know ALLLL about these gorgeous creatures, It’s time to colour it in. Share this with your friends and see who can do the most creative design. Wanna feature your creation on our Instagram? Email us [email protected] and we’ll share the most creative design on our Instagram page

Yours in adventure,

Have a Merry Norther Christmas 

Download Sandstone Shrike-Thrush Bird Colouring Page

Christmas – Keep-River

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Now that you know more about the Sandstone Shrike-thrush, let’s explore Keep River National Park!

Keep River National Park

Sitting on land belonging to the First Nations Miriwoong and Gajirrabeng people, 467 kilometres from Katherine and on the border with Western Australia. Keep River has a remarkable sandstone landscape with contrasting red rocks and green florals.

There are 6 different walking tracks you can trek on during your time at Keep River National Park:

1: Ginger’s Hill Walk

The Ginger’s Hill Walk is relatively short. It is 200m (return track) and will take you about 15 minutes to walk the whole thing. The track is graded a 2, which means no bushwalking experience is required and is not more than 10km. The Ginger’s Hill Walk leads you to a traditional hawk-hunting hide built by a local Miriwoong elder and provides the Miriwoong people with a hunting opportunity by using the hunting patterns of hawks and other birds of prey.

2: Goorrandalng Walk

The Goorrandalng Walk starts at the Goorrandalng Campground. It is a 2km loop that takes about an hour to complete. If you are short on time, it is recommended that you complete both the Ginger’s Hill Walk and the Goorrandalng Walk to truly experience the beauty of Keep River National Park. The Goorrandalng Walk is graded as a 3, meaning that it is suitable for most ages and fitness levels. So you can bring the kiddos too. On this track, you can also learn about the Brolga dreaming. 

For the complete guide on Keep River National Park’s walks and hikes, click here. 

3: Jenemoom Walk

The 3km Jenemoom return walk takes about 2 hours to complete. The track is graded as a 3, meaning it is moderate. It is suitable for the kiddos too. The name “Jenemoom” comes from the native Miriwoong people. This walk is located between two campgrounds. The site historically supported many family groups, demonstrated by living shelters and art sites. 

4: Langgerrbi (Nigli Gap) Walk

The Langgerrbi Walk starts at the Jarnem Campground. The walk is a 6km return track and takes about 2 hours to complete. The track is graded as a 2, the track is on a hardened and compacted surface that might have an occasional step/hill section so bring sturdy walking shoes.

5: Jarnem Loop Walk

Starting at the Jarnem Campground this 6.5km loop takes about 3.5 hours to complete. This moderate to difficult trail is rough, and very steep so observe all posted directional signage. The Jarnem Loop walk links the Lookout and Langgerrbi (Nigli Gap), and it should be completed in an anticlockwise direction. 

6: Jarnem Lookout Walk

The Jarnem Lookout Walk also starts at the Jarnem Campground. The walk is a 4.6km return track and will take about 2.5 hours to complete. The lookout has beautiful views of the Keep River floodplain, Jarnem escarpment, and Miriwoong dreaming trail. Definitely worth the hike!

Looking for places to stay when visiting Keep River National Park? Here’s our recommended list:

The Station at El Questro
Kimberleyland Waterfront Holiday Park
Lake Argyle Resort & Holiday Park
Ivanhoe Resort
Parry Creek Farm Tourist Resort and Caravan Park

Are your bags packed? Get excited because you know it’s going to be a good one! We would love your feedback on this page – please comment below if you’ve been to Keep River National Park or seen a Sandstone Shrike-Thrush Bird!

Norther would like to invite you to explore the beauty of Keep River National Park here. And… as always you can get more inspiration for other National Parks & Destinations to visit by following @northerhq or get your Keep River National Park daily fix @keeprivernationalpark



NORTHER ® provides encouragement for travellers to value, enjoy and explore the NT in a one-of-kind way so they can honour and respect culture through care and integrity.

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