Other Names: Whip Bird, (Coach-whip Bird, Psophodes crepitans, 19th Century)
Family: Cinclosomatidae (Quail-thrushes and allies, 8 species in Australia)
Size: 25-30 cm
Distribution: Within about 200 km of the coast of NSW, Eastern VIC and Most of QLD except the north
Status: Common to mderately common
Habitat: Dense understories of rainforests, coastal scrubs, wet sclerophyll forests, riparian (near a stream) forest
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest
The Eastern Whipbird is famous for its call which sounds like the crack of a whip. The call is actually made by two birds, the male makes the whipcrack, and if the female replies it is a sort of "choo choo choo" sound. It sounds truly amazing if you happen to be between the pair when they call. The whip sound is heard at the beginning of the theme song to "Skippy the Bush Kangaroo".
Eastern Whipbirds are heard much more than they are seen as they like to hide in dense scrub, from which they rarely emerge. They are also a drab colour which blends in very will with the background. The crest on their head is a distinguishing feature. The tail is fairly long and there is a light coloured patch on the lower side of the head. In the photo below this looks like a slightly lighter grey than the rest of the bird, sometimes it is lighter than this and the rest of the head is darker.
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW
Artwork: John Gould, 'The Birds of Australia', 1848. Original Scanned Image.
Some Birdwatching Resources
NEW: The Australian Bird Guide, by Peter Menkhorst (Author), Danny Rogers (Author), Rohan Clarke (Author), Jeff Davies (Illustrator), Peter Marsack (Illustrator), Kim Franklin (Illustrator).
Revised Edition 2019. Original edition published 2017. This is a newer Australian bird field guide that I just got recently. It may be the best one out of all of them now. Though I still like the pictures better in "Simpson and Day" in terms of their artistic value, and that they just look more interesting to me than the drawings in any other bird field guide I've seen. This one has more "clinical" looking pictures. They are coloured artist-rendered drawings, not photographs. Though the more "clinical" look is meant to be more anatomically accurate, and better for identification.
The rest of the book is wonderful, with different coloured regions on the range maps, and very high quality information overall. It was the winner in its category for an Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) award for book of the year in 2018.
Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)
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