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A photo of a Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus)
Eastern Whipbird

Eastern Whipbird

Psophodes olivaceus

The Eastern Whipbird, Psophodes olivaceus, is a medium-sized, insectivorous passerine bird adorned in a cloak of olive green, with a black head and breast. It carries a small black crest and a striking white cheek patch, a feature that is particularly distinctive. The bird's underparts are paler, and its long tail is olive-green with a white tip. The eyes are brown, the bill and feet are blackish, and the male is marginally larger than the female. Juveniles present a more subdued olive-brown and lack the white cheek stripes and dark throat of adults.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Eastern Whipbird, look for its olive-green plumage, black head, and the characteristic white cheek patch. The bird's small black crest is also a key feature. Males and females are similar in appearance, though the male is slightly larger. Juveniles can be distinguished by their duller coloration and absence of the white cheek patch and dark throat.

Habitat

This species thrives in the dense understory of wet temperate forests, including both rainforests and wet sclerophyll forests, often found near water sources.

Distribution

The Eastern Whipbird is native to the east coast of Australia, ranging from eastern Victoria through to central Queensland. Two subspecies are recognized, with P. o. lateralis, the smaller and browner of the two, residing in the Atherton Tableland.

Behaviour

The Eastern Whipbird is a rather elusive creature, often heard before it is seen. It forages on the forest floor, sifting through leaf litter to find its insect prey.

Song & Calls

The bird's call is a defining sound of the eastern Australian bush: a long note followed by a sharp 'whip crack' and subsequent notes. This call is typically a duet between the male and female, with the male producing the initial note and whip crack, and the female following with additional notes.

Breeding

The Eastern Whipbird is monogamous, with breeding taking place from late winter to spring. Nests are constructed as loose bowls of twigs and sticks, lined with softer materials and situated in low shrubs or trees. The species may have several broods in an extended breeding season. The female lays a clutch of two pale blue eggs adorned with blackish splotches.

Similar Species

There are no similar species mentioned in the provided content.

Diet and Feeding

The Eastern Whipbird is insectivorous, gleaning insects from the leaf litter on the forest floor.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List classifies the Eastern Whipbird as Least Concern, indicating that the species does not currently face a significant risk of extinction.

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