Historical information

The spotted pardalote is the smallest of all Australian birds. It has a tendency to nest in a long horizontal tunnel, often dug into the soil of creek banks, the embankments of railway cuttings, and quarries. Its call is characterised by a very clear and repetitive double "ding". The spotted pardalote is common in woodlands and eucalypt forest areas in Australia.

This specimen is part of a collection of almost 200 animal specimens that were originally acquired as skins from various institutions across Australia, including the Australian Museum in Sydney and the National Museum of Victoria (known as Museums Victoria since 1983), as well as individuals such as amateur anthropologist Reynell Eveleigh Johns between 1860-1880. These skins were then mounted by members of the Burke Museum Committee and put-on display in the formal space of the Museum’s original exhibition hall where they continue to be on display. This display of taxidermy mounts initially served to instruct visitors to the Burke Museum of the natural world around them, today it serves as an insight into the collecting habits of the 19th century.


This specimen is part of a significant and rare taxidermy mount collection in the Burke Museum. This collection is scientifically and culturally important for reminding us of how science continues to shape our understanding of the modern world. They demonstrate a capacity to hold evidence of how Australia’s fauna history existed in the past and are potentially important for future environmental research.

This collection continues to be on display in the Museum and has become a key part to interpreting the collecting habits of the 19th century.

Physical description

One of Australia's smallest native birds, the male spotted pardalotte is covered with small, distinct white spots. Males have a pale eyebrow, a yellow throat and a red rump. Females are similar but have less-distinct markings. 10060 comprises of one male and one female. This specimen stands upon a wooden platform and has an identification tag tied around its leg

Inscriptions & markings

14a. / Spotted Diamond Bird / See Catalogue, page 9. /