Red-lored Whistler

Pachycephala rufogularis

The red-lored whistler (Pachycephala rufogularis) is one of nine species of whistler occurring in Australia and a member of the family Pachycephalidae which includes Whistlers, Shrike-thrushes, Pitohuis and allies. The limited range of this endemic bird of the Mallee woodland in one small area in New South Wales and another, larger area encompassing north-western Victoria and adjacent South Australia has seen it listed nationally as vulnerable. The male has an orange/buff face and throat, a grey breastband extending around the neck and over the head and rufous underparts with pale yellow/olive edging to primaries. Some males are reported having a buff collar. The female is similar but with paler throat and underparts with a hint of buff. The eye is red, and bill and legs are dark. They weigh 30-38g and have a length of 19–22 cm. Unlike other whistler species the throat colour of the red-lored whistler extends upwards to include the lores and face, distinguishing it from the closely related and similar Gilbert's whistler (Pacycephalas inornata) which also has a red throat. Females and juveniles of both species are very similar, making them harder to distinguish although the red-lored whistler has a slightly more buff colouring. Field identification is further compounded by the fact that the range of the red-lored whistler fits wholly within that of Gilbert’s whistler. Both species share the same habitat and have similar behaviour and calls. John Gould, who described both species, was not familiar with the Gilbert's whistler at the time he identified the red-lored whistler: this is surprising, as the path that he travelled took him through areas where the Gilbert's whistler is not uncommon. It is possible that, in the absence of specimens, even Gould confused the two species.
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Red-lored Whistlers on Birda


A map showing the sighting location
Kevin Huang
Sunday 11 Jun 2023 - 9:00am
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