Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis

Golden Whistler

Pachycephala pectoralis

Family: Pachycephalidae (Whistlers, Shrike-thrushes and allies, 14 species in Australia).
Size: 17 cm
Distribution:Within several hundred km of the coasts of NSW, Eastern SA, most of QLD, southwest WA. Most of VIC and all of TAS.
Status: Common to moderately common
Habitat: Rainforests, open forests, woodlands, mallee, coastal vegetation
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

The male Golden Whistler is a spectacular small bird, he has striking colours with a thick black stripe around his head, and a pure white throat underneath. The belly of the bird is a bright yellow colour, with darker greenish-yellow wings and top. The female is much more of a dull brown colour overall though she does have a somewhat lighter (but not white) throat.

They are very similar to the Rufous Whistler, which has a red-brown (rufous) colour instead of the yellow/golden colour.

They are usually seen in native bushland, and sometimes in people's gardens that are close to native bushland.

Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis
Photo: Male Golden Whistler, Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW

Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis
Photo: Male Golden Whistler, Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW

Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis
Photo: Male Golden Whistler, Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW

Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis
Photo: Male Golden Whistler, Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW

Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis
Artwork: John Gould, 'The Birds of Australia', 1848. Original Scanned Image.
Gould call this plate the Golden Whistler (with the same scientific name), but it looks exactly like the Rufous Whistler, not the Golden Whistler. I'm not sure what is going on with this.

Some Birdwatching Resources

Know Your Birds, by Louise Egerton - Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis NEW: Know Your Birds, by Louise Egerton.

Revised edition 3 July 2019. Paperback / softback, 176 pages. It has an orange cover. The original edition was 2005 and has a blue cover. Some of the book sellers listed here show the photo from the original/older blue cover edition, but the rest of the info (including the publication date and ISBN) are from the newer revised 2019 edition, so presumably that's the one you'll get.

This book has very high quality large photographs of the birds (as in actual photographs). Most of the photos take up a whole page for each bird photograph. "Know Your Birds" only has a selection of the most common birds, and not all the birds that are found in Australia. This makes it very good for beginners — since most of the field guides have all the birds — and it can be confusing looking at six almost identical species of birds, not knowing that five of them are rare and it's probably the common one that you're looking for. Which would be the only one listed in this book.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase from Australia (The Nile)

Purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

Return to Australian Birds
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