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20

White-breasted Whistler

(Pachycephala lanioides)
Alternate name(s): "White-bellied Whistler", "White-bellied Thickhead"
Size: 19-21 cm
Weight: 34-48 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See White-breasted Whistler at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "fretorum"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male White-breasted Whistler (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Coconut Grove, Darwin, NT, July 2020]

Frontal view of a male White-breasted Whistler looking sideways (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Coconut Grove, Darwin, NT, July 2020]

Frontal view of a male White-breasted Whistler looking backwards (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Coconut Grove, Darwin, NT, July 2020]

Lateral view of a male White-breasted Whistler; this bird was elusive and hard to photograph (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Kulaluk, Darwin, NT, March 2013]

Dorsal view of a male White-breasted Whistler (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Coconut Grove, Darwin, NT, August 2020]

FEMALE

Near-frontal view of a female White-breasted Whistler; note the dark bill (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Coconut Grove, Darwin, NT, July 2020]

Lateral view of a female White-breasted Whistler looking towards the observer (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Kulaluk, Darwin, NT, March 2013]

Close-up lateral view of a female White-breasted Whistler (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Coconut Grove, Darwin, NT, August 2020]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of a juvenile White-breasted Whistler looking at the observer; note the pale bill (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Coconut Grove, Darwin, NT, July 2020]

Lateral view of a juvenile White-breasted Whistler (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Coconut Grove, Darwin, NT, July 2020]

Lateral view of a juvenile White-breasted Whistler (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Coconut Grove, Darwin, NT, August 2020]

Lateral view of a juvenile White-breasted Whistler, now aware of the observer (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Coconut Grove, Darwin, NT, August 2020]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Mar - Nov Eggs: 1 - 2 Incubation period: 15-16 days Fledging age: ca. 16 days

Given the right conditions, White-breasted Whistlers can breed at any time of the year.

Nest building: Female Incubation: Female Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Hanging basket Material: Twigs, fine roots, lined with rootlets Height above ground: 1 - 5 m

The same female White-breasted Whistler as shown above, now near its nest that is still under construction
(photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Kulaluk, Darwin, NT, March 2013]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 27 x 19 mm Colour: Creamy, with dark-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Food, Diet

White-breasted Whistlers have a massive bill, enabling them to prey on anthropods such as small crabs.

Lateral view of a male White-breasted Whistler hunting in mangrove in an intertidal wetland (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Coconut Grove, Darwin, NT, August 2020]

Lateral view of a male White-breasted Whistler with its prey; this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 7 August 2020 (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Coconut Grove, Darwin, NT, August 2020]

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.

wbrwhis_pb_20200807_3.m4a (Darwin, NT) Contact calls (male) © PB
wbrwhis_pb_20200807_2.m4a (Darwin, NT) Contact calls + alarm calls (male) © PB
wbrwhis_pb_20200830.m4a (Darwin, NT) Contact calls © PB
wbrwhis_pb_20200807.m4a (Darwin, NT) Various (male) © PB
wbrwhis_pb_20200802.m4a (Darwin, NT) Various (male)
(+ Bar-shouldered Dove)
© PB
wbrwhis_pb_20201014.m4a (Darwin, NT) ? © PB

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.

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