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20

Eastern Whipbird

(Psophodes olivaceus)
Alternate name(s): "Coachwhip-bird*", "Stockwhip-bird*", "Whipbird*"
Size: 25-30 cm
Weight: 47-72 g
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Eastern Whipbird at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "olivaceus"

ADULT

Frontal view of an adult Eastern Whipbird
[O'Reilly's Plateau, Lamington NP, Gold Coast, QLD, May 2014]

Frontal view of an adult Eastern Whipbird foraging in leaf litter (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[O'Reilly's Plateau, Lamington NP, Gold Coast, QLD, April 2013]

Near-frontal view of an adult Eastern Whipbird
[O'Reilly's Plateau, Lamington NP, Gold Coast, QLD, May 2014]

Near-lateral view of an adult Eastern Whipbird (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Dorrigo NP, NSW, May 2013]

Lateral view of an adult Eastern Whipbird foraging amongst leaf litter (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[O'Reilly's Plateau, Lamington NP, Gold Coast, QLD, April 2013]

Lateral view of an adult Eastern Whipbird in broad daylight
[Wyrrabalong NP, NSW, July 2013]

Lateral view of an adult Eastern Whipbird on a tree stump (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[St. Albans, NSW, September 2013]

Lateral view of an adult Eastern Whipbird issuing its characteristic call (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, November 2014]

Dorsal view of an adult Eastern Whipbird in dense underbrush
[Dorrigo NP, NSW, November 2006]

Lateral view of an Eastern Whipbird foraging through leaf litter
[Jilliby SCA, NSW, July 2013]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-dorsal view of an immature Eastern Whipbird foraging through leaf litter
[Jilliby SCA, NSW, July 2013]

Juvenile Eastern Whipbird in the underbrush of rainforest
[Dorrigo NP, NSW, November 2006]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Sedentary Elementary unit: Pair

The Eastern Whipbirds observed by us at Wingham Brush Nature Reserve behaved differently compared to their cousins at Dorrigo NP: In the absence of dense underbrush they stayed in the tree tops almost all the time.

View of the underside of an Eastern Whipbird high up in a tree top
[Wingham Brush NR, NSW, September 2011]

This photo shows an Eastern Whipbird using its foot to help hold down something while foraging in leaf litter (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[O'Reilly's Plateau, Lamington NP, Gold Coast, QLD, April 2013]

Food, Diet

Eastern Whipbirds forage in the leaf litter of dense forests for insects. However, when necessary they appear to find food in tree tops as well.

This Eastern Whipbird was observed trying to catch the spider whose web can be seen in the photo; while chasing the spider, it used an alarm call, as recorded on 14 March 2016
[Bunya Mountains NP, QLD, March 2016]

This Eastern Whipbird was observed trying to catch the spider whose web can be seen in the photo; while chasing the spider, it used an alarm call, as recorded on 14 March 2016
[Bunya Mountains NP, QLD, March 2016]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

The sound tracks below, which are brought to a normalized intensity in order to ensure linear amplification, cannot correctly reproduce the enormous volume of Eastern Whipbirds' calls. When nearby, their calls are absolutely ear-piercing in pitch and intensity. The calls carry, through rainforest, over distances of 500-1000 m.

eastwhp_art_20131125.mp3 olivaceus
(SE QLD)
Contact calls © ART
eastwhp_20140524.mp3 olivaceus
(SE QLD)
Pair Q&A © MD
eastwhp_20140522_A.mp3 olivaceus
(SE QLD)
Pair Q&A
(very close)
© MD
eastwhp_art_20131125_3.mp3 olivaceus
(SE QLD)
Pair Q&As © ART
eastwhp_20140524_2.mp3 olivaceus
(SE QLD)
Q&2As (two responses) © MD
eastwhp_20150820.mp3 olivaceus
(N NSW)
Q&A(?) © MD
eastwhp_20150328.mp3 olivaceus
(N NSW)
Alarm call © MD
eastwhp_20160314_2.mp3 olivaceus
(S QLD)
Alarm call © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.