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Olive Whistler, Pachycephala olivacea

Photo copyright Dave Watts


The Olive Whistler is medium-sized (to 215 mm), stocky bird with olive-brown upperparts, grey head, dark bill and off-white throat with dark barrings. Females are similar, but generally duller. Immature birds have more rufous wings and paler feathers on the head.


Olive Whistlers occur in the dense vegetation of wet eucalypt forests, tea-tree scrub and coastal scrubs and heathlands.


Foraging takes place from the canopy to the ground, usually within dense vegetation. It mainly feeds on invertebrates, but also seeds and leaves.


The Olive Whistler builds a large, cup-shaped nest of twigs, leaves and bark placed 1-3m off the ground in shrubs, trees or dense grass. Two to three eggs are laid and incubated by both parents.


The call is a low, sweet and pensive whistle, "too-wee-e-chow", with the final syllable like a whipcrack. (Audio recordings courtesy of David Stewart/Nature Sound)

Distribution Map courtesy Natural Values Atlas, data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania


The Olive Whistler is endemic to south-eastern Australia ranging from the coast to the Great Dividing Range.

In Tasmania, the species is a common but elusive resident throughout the State and the Bass Strait islands.