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White-breasted Whistler - BirdForum Opus

Photo by The Magpie
Roebuck Bay, Western Australia, August 2009

Alternative names: White-bellied Thickhead; Shrike-like Thickhead
Disambiguation: White-bellied Whistler seems to have been used as a name for this species but is in Opus used for Pachycephala leucogastra

Pachycephala lanioides


18 - 20cm.

  • Black head to nape and extending around upper breast in a band
  • Rufous nape with narrower rufous band extending around below black band
  • White throat and rest of underparts
  • Grey to grey-back upperparts
  • Black upper tail
  • Black bill


  • Grey-brown upperparts, darker on wings and tail
  • Buff underparts, paler on throat
  • Dark streaking on breast and throat
  • Pale grey wash on breast
  • Brownish bill

Juveniles similar to females but with pale rufous washed underparts and more strongly streaked.


Coast of northern Australia.
Local but fairly common.


Three subspecies recognized:


Mangrove forests. Also in adjacent rainforest.


Feeds on insects, crustaceans and small molluscs.
Breeding season from August to October. The nest is a small cup made of fine twigs. It's placed 1.5 to 5m above the ground in a fork or in twigs near the trunk in mangrove. Lays 2 eggs.
Resident species.


  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. 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

Recommended Citation

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