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

The Complete Guide to Australian Birds, by George Adams - Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis NEW: The Complete Guide to Australian Birds, by George Adams.

This is another of the newer ones (published in November 2018) that I bought recently (June 2020). It's got photographs rather than drawn pictures of the birds. They're really good quality photos. 10 or more years ago, the Australian bird field guides with photographs definitely weren't in the same class as the ones with hand-drawn pictures, but that seems to have changed. Now I think it's more a matter of personal preference. I imagine that the massive increases in availability of long-zoom-distance digital photographic equipment has made it much easier for there to be better quality photos of birds.

This book has colured strips down the outside of each page so you can find the different types of birds easily, which I really like.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase from Australia (The Nile)

Purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Purchase from Amazon.com (USA Site)

Purchase from Amazon.com.au (Australian Site)

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

Return to Australian Birds
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