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Golden Whistler - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Australian Golden Whistler

Male P. p. pectoralis
Photo © by Mitcon
Adelaide, South Australia, September 2005
Pachycephala pectoralis


16 - 19cm (6-7½ in).

Female P. p. pectoralis
Photo © by Rose Fletcher
Nangawooka Flora Reserve, Victor Harbor, South Australia, April 2008
  • Black head, nape and band around upper breast
  • White throat
  • Yellow nape extending to breast and underparts
  • Olive-green back


  • Brownish-grey upperparts
  • Pale yellow undertail-coverts


xanthoprocta with brownish-grey head, chin, throat and upperparts and only slightly yellow on underparts

Similar Species

Similar to Black-tailed Whistler from northern Australia but note black tail in latter


Common in most of its range.


Has been considered conspecific with some other Whistlers, especially with Black-tailed Whistler, Tongan Whistler, New Caledonian Whistler, Vanuatu Whistler, Oriole Whistler, Rusty-breasted Whistler, Black-chinned Whistler, Bismarck Whistler, Western Whistler, Baliem Whistler and Banda Sea Whistler.

Male P. p. xanthoprocta
Photo © by OzV
Mount Pitt, Norfolk Island, June 2005

Norfolk Island Whistler (P. p. xanthoprocta) has been proposed as a full species and other subspecies have been included in other species.


There are 5 subspecies[1]:

  • P. p. pectoralis:
Immature male (rufous on wings}
Photo © by julien
Eagle Point, Gippsland Lakes, Victoria, Australia, March 2006
  • P. p. youngi:
  • P. p. glaucura:
  • Tasmania and Flinders Island (Bass Strait)
  • P. p. contempta:
  • Lord Howe Island
  • P. p. xanthoprocta:
  • Norfolk Island


Very varied in the type of forest and scrub habitat acceptable, from rainforest and mangrove to gardens to dry scrub.



Feeds mainly on insects and spiders.


Breeding season is mainly August to January. The nest is a cup made of twigs, grass, plant stems and other material. It's usually placed around 3m above the ground. Lays 2 - 3 eggs. Brood parasitism by Pallid Cuckoo, Fan-tailed Cuckoo and Brush Cuckoo reported.


Subspecies contempta
Photo © by Mat & Cathy
Lord Howe Island, December 2007

Resident species. Some Australian populations known to make altitudinal movements.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553422
  3. Simpson, K and N Day. 1998. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-4877-5
  4. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.1). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.

Recommended Citation

External Links

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