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


Field Guide to Australian Birds: Complete Compact Edition, by Michael Morcombe Field Guide to Australian Birds: Complete Compact Edition, by Michael Morcombe. Based on the above larger book. It's a while since I've seen this one. The publisher's commentary says that "This slimline, compact edition contains the same information on mainland and Tasmanian birds as his best-selling handbook, the Field Guide to Australian Birds. Features include plastic jacket, QuickFind system of colour tags and Quick Index ensure durability and ease of use in the field."

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)


Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, Peter Slater, Pat Slater and Raoul Slater Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, Peter Slater, Pat Slater and Raoul Slater. This is a smaller field guide, and its advantage is it is easy to carry around. Its size is 21.3 x 11.4 x 2.8 centimetres, or 8.4 x 4.5 x 1.1 inches in the old scale. So it is a good one to get if you want to have your field guide with you out in the field. Unlike most of the field guides it also has illustrations of the eggs of all the birds that breed in Australia. It has very good reviews on Amazon.

Click here to Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Click here to purchase from Australia (The Nile) $28.45 AUD (May be unavailable)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond) May be expensive.

Click here to purchase from Amazon

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

Return to Australian Birds
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