Olive whistler

Olive whistler

Olive whistler, Olivaceous whistler

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Pachycephala olivacea

The olive whistler (Pachycephala olivacea ) or olivaceous whistler, is a species of bird in the family Pachycephalidae, the whistlers, that is native to southeastern Australia.


Adult birds are around 18–20 cm (7–8 in) long, and have an overall olive brown plumage with a streaked white throat. To an untrained eye, they can be mistaken for female golden whistlers. The male has a dark grey head, pale grey breast and red-tinged buff belly and rump. The female lacks the red tinge, and has brown underparts. The legs, bill and eyes of both sexes are a brown-black. The melodious call has been likened to I'll wet you or you're cranky, and is possibly the most musical of all whistlers.



Biogeographical realms

The olive whistler is found from the McPherson Range in far south east Queensland south through New South Wales and into Victoria and south eastern South Australia, Flinders and King Islands and Tasmania.

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The habitat is mainly wet forest, and Antarctic beech (Nothofagus moorei) forest in northern New South Wales.

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Habits and Lifestyle

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition

It is predominantly insectivorous.

Mating Habits

Olive whistlers nest from September to December, raising one brood during this period. The nest is a fragile bowl of twigs, grasses and bits of bark lined with softer plant material and bound with spiderwebs in the fork of a tree around 2 m (6.6 ft) above the ground. A clutch of two or three oval eggs are laid, 20 x 28 mm and shiny cream with brown, black and lavender spots and blotches (more on larger end).


Population number

An uncommon species, it is considered of least concern on the global IUCN Red List, but vulnerable in New South Wales due to habitat fragmentation and feral cats and foxes.


1. Olive whistler Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_whistler
2. Olive whistler on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22705431/94018256
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/674030

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