General Description

Male: upper body dark grey with a black band from the face to the upper breast surrounding a white throat; underparts orange-brown (rufous). Can also have a black face. Female: upper body dull grey, underparts and throat yellow-brown (buff) with dark brown streaks. Tail long and slightly forked. The bill to tail length is up to 17 cm.


Male Rufous Whistlers sing when breeding to advertise their territory. They form monogamous pairs and both parents incubate the eggs and care for the young. Females attach their fragile, cup-shaped nests to tree forks with spider webs. Two clutches can be produced during the breeding season. They mainly eat insects but also occasionally eat leaves, seeds and fruit. Rufous Whistlers are rarely seen on the ground, typically foraging higher in the canopy than other whistlers. They tend to be solitary but can be spotted foraging with other species during the non-breeding season. Their song is very musical, containing a variety of trills, whistles and repeated whip-cracks.


Pacific Islands. Mainland Australia.


Forests, woodlands and urban areas.

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