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Vanuatu Whistler - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Melanesian Whistler

Male P. c. intacta
Photo by Tanager
Loro Protected Area, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu, January 2006
Pachycephala chlorura

Identification

14 - 16cm.
Male:

  • Ashy grey crown and side of head
  • Sometimes a trace of a yellow collar on nape
  • Greenish-olive upperparts and tail
  • White chin and throat
  • Narrow dull black breastband
  • Dull yellow rest of underparts
  • Black bill and legs

Female:

  • Olive-brown upperparts
  • Greenish-olive tail
  • Off white underparts with breast and side of belly washed light greyish-brown
  • Tinged yellow undertail-coverts

Immatures have prominent rufous markings on wings.

Distribution

Vanuatu and Vanikoro in the South Pacific.
Common in suitable habitat.

Taxonomy

Formerly treated conspecific with Golden Whistler and later with New Caledonian Whistler (another split from Golden Whistler).
Four subspecies recognized:

  • P. c. cucullata on Aneityum (Vanuatu)
  • P. c. chlorura on Erromango (Vanuatu)
  • P. c. intacta on Vanuatu and Banks Group
  • P. c. littayei Loyalty Islands (Ouvéa and Lifou)

Gill and Donsker formerly included in this species (Clements in New Caledonian Whistler) and name the species Melanesian Whistler. Subspecies vanikorensis now considered a subspecies of Temotu Whistler.

Habitat

Moist lowland forests and montanes. Occurs from sea-level to 900m.

Behaviour

Feeds on insects, takes occasionally seeds and small snails.
Breeding season from December to January. The nest is a cup made of fine twigs. It's placed 1.5 to 10.5.m above the ground. Lays 2 white eggs.
Resident species.

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2014. IOC World Bird Names (version 4.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. 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

Recommended Citation

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