The Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis) is a species of bird native to the Australia-New Guinea region and extending somewhat into the Pacific. It is among the birds with the highest number of geographic subspecies, with 59 recognised subspecies and a number of closely related species which may be subspecies (like the Tongan Whistler). The male usually has a bright yellow underside, olive-green back and wings, and a black head with a yellow collar. The females have various subdued colours across the range; both sexes have red-brown eyes. Golden Whistlers have a strong, musical voice.
Distribution of the Golden Whisler extends across Australia except parts of Western Australia. They can also be found in Tasmania, Indonesia, Fiji, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. Golden Whistlers live in the same area for most of the year, but birds in the south-east migrate during winter months.
The Golden Whistler can be found in almost any wooded habitat, especially dense forests. It eats berries, insects, spiders, and other small arthropods. They usually feed alone and obtain food from the lower to middle tree level, or they may alternatively take part in mixed-species feeding flocks. On Santa Isabel Island for example it was noted that this species only joins such flocks as they move through inland forest, away from the coast or larger rivers (Kratter et al. 2001).
This species breeds between September and January. Male and female both work on the nest, which is a shallow bowl made of twigs, grass, and bark, and bound together with spider web. Only one brood is raised per season and both birds share incubation and care of young. Eggs hatch 15 days after they are laid and the young leave the nest after 12 days.
A sketch of the Golden Whistler
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