Golden Whistler

Pachycephala pectoralis

(Birds of Drouin booklet P34)


Size: 165-185mm

Male: Black head, face and chest band, yellow nape, olive-brown back. Throat is white. Rich yellow belly. Dark tail. The female is all grey.


A variety of sweet, rising, whistling notes. Often ends in a loud ‘ah-whit’.



All states except NT. Eastern seaboard, all of Victoria and Tasmania, southern SA and south west WA.

Map credit:


Golden Whistlers build a rough cup nest, usually down low in blackberries, tree ferns, low shrubs or grasses. They breed from late winter to mid-summer.


Golden Whistlers can be found in a variety of wet and dry forests from the coast to sub-alpine regions. Usually, they are seen as pairs with the female being far more obliging of human intrusion. They feed on insects and larvae gleaned from the bark and foliage, mostly in the canopy, often joining other species in a feeding foray. Relatively common, sedentary with some nomadism.

The Friends of Drouin’s Trees has been advocating for the woodland reserve in McGlone Road to be renamed ‘Golden Whistler Reserve’ because of the regular and unexpected sightings of Golden Whistlers here so close to urban Drouin.