The Spotted Pardalote is sometimes known as the "Headache Bird" because of the continuous "sleep-may-be" call it gives during the breeding season.
The Spotted Pardalote is a tiny bird that is most often high in a eucalypt canopy, so it is more often detected by its characteristic call. The wings, tail and head of the male are black and 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.
The related Striated Pardalote, P. striatus, has a striped head rather than spotted, and lacks the spotting on the wings and has a plainer back.