Sunday, September 7, 2014

Eastern whipbird

Eastern whipbird, Psophodes olivaceus, Sherbrooke Forest, Dandenong Ranges
Many Australians know the sound of this bird's call but would not know what the Eastern whipbird looked like. The resonating whip-crack call can emanate from a patch of bush right in front of you but the bird(s) may never appear. I "out waited" this bird in the Sherbrooke section of the Dandenongs recently and finally got a photo - it took a good 20 minutes!! The dim light added to the difficulty and even with a clear view through my monopod-perched camera I still only managed one photo with which I was happy.

I do enjoy field guide quotes when well-written. Here is a selection relating to the Eastern whipbird:

PizzeyNoisy but secretive (!)
Morcombe: Loud ringing whip-crack call of this species is one of the most common, widely recognised eastern bird calls. From male, a long whistle building up to an explosive whip-crack; instantly answered with sharp "tchew-tchew" from female.
Australian Bird Names (Fraser & Gray)Psophodes olivaceus (Latham 1802) so-FOH-dehz o-li-VA-se-us "olive-green noisy-bird"

Near Sherbrooke Falls, Dandenong Ranges, Vic
While this audio piece by "Wild Ambience" doesn't really do the explosive whip-crack justice (compared to hearing it at close range in the forest) it is a beautifully presented narration which demonstrates the male-female interaction well. Four minutes well spent!

Bird on!


  1. When I visited Australia in 1999 I had the great good fortune to spend three days with Peter Fullager and it was he who found this species for me.

  2. Great capture Pete.
    Not an easy bird to sneak up on are they? And yet I know some people who reckon they tick them sitting on a picnic table regularly!