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Island Whistler - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Rob Hutchinson
Kai Kechil Island, South Moluccas, Indonesia, May 2008

Alternative name: Island Robin-whistler

Pachycephala phaionota


16cm. An indistinctive whistler:

  • Greyish-brown crown and side of head
  • Brown ear-coverts, dark grey washed lores
  • Brown upperparts
  • Brown tail
  • White chin and throat
  • Dull white underparts with greyish-ochre wash (on breast and flanks mainly)
  • Paler centre of belly and undertail-coverts
  • Brown eye
  • Black bill

Sexes alike. Juveniles have olive-brown upperparts


Found on small islands from the Moluccas to west New Guinea (Indonesia).
Restricted-range species, common to uncommon in its range.


Forms a superspecies with Mangrove Whistler, White-vented Whistler and Green-backed Whistler.


Clements regards this as a monotypic species [1].

The proposed subspecies stresemanni is considered invalid by most authorities.


Found along the coast in beach scrub, secondary scrub and mangroves. Occasionally in plantations (cove and nutmeg).


Feeds on insects.
Nesting recorded in August and September. The nest is a small woven cup, placed around 2m above the ground. Lays 2 eggs.
Resident species.


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.

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