Eastern whipbird

Eastern whipbird
Psophodes olivaceus
(Photo from Flickr)

Common name:

eastern whipbird (en); pássaro-chicote-oriental (pt); psophode à tête noire (fr); zordala crestada oriental (es); schwarzkopf-wippflöter (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Cinclosomatidae

This Australian endemic is found from northern Queensland to Victoria along the coastal band of eastern Australia.

The eastern whipbird in 26-30 cm long and weighs 47-72 g.

These secretive birds are found in dense vegetation near the ground, in wet habitats including rainforests, wet eucalypt forests and dense scrub near watercourses.

Eastern whipbirds hunt insects and other invertebrates from leaf litter on the forest floor.

These monogamous birds breed in July-December. The female builds a cup nest of sticks and bark, which is lined with finer grasses, and placed in dense vegetation near the ground. There she lays 2-3 pale blue eggs with blackish splotches, which she incubates alone for 18 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 12 days after hatching, but continue to be tended by their parents for the next 6 weeks. Each pair raises 1-2 clutches per season.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
Although the global population size has not been quantified, this species is reported to be locally common over its large breeding range. This population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

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