Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis

Golden Whistler

Pachycephala pectoralis

Family: Pachycephalidae (Whistlers, Shrike-thrushes and allies, 14 species in Australia).
Size: 17 cm
Distribution:Within several hundred km of the coasts of NSW, Eastern SA, most of QLD, southwest WA. Most of VIC and all of TAS.
Status: Common to moderately common
Habitat: Rainforests, open forests, woodlands, mallee, coastal vegetation
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

The male Golden Whistler is a spectacular small bird, he has striking colours with a thick black stripe around his head, and a pure white throat underneath. The belly of the bird is a bright yellow colour, with darker greenish-yellow wings and top. The female is much more of a dull brown colour overall though she does have a somewhat lighter (but not white) throat.

They are very similar to the Rufous Whistler, which has a red-brown (rufous) colour instead of the yellow/golden colour.

They are usually seen in native bushland, and sometimes in people's gardens that are close to native bushland.

Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis
Photo: Male Golden Whistler, Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW

Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis
Photo: Male Golden Whistler, Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW

Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis
Photo: Male Golden Whistler, Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW

Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis
Photo: Male Golden Whistler, Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW

Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis
Artwork: John Gould, 'The Birds of Australia', 1848. Original Scanned Image.
Gould call this plate the Golden Whistler (with the same scientific name), but it looks exactly like the Rufous Whistler, not the Golden Whistler. I'm not sure what is going on with this.

Some Birdwatching Resources

Tasco Essentials 10x50 Binoculars - Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralisTasco Essentials 10x50 Binoculars

I have the 8x40 of this series, which I bought because I saw them on special, and they had a much clearer image than the cheap no-name brand binoculars I had before. I would have got 10x50 instead if they had been on special also. These are great basic binoculars which can be used for birdwatching, stargazing, etc.

The first number (like 8 or 10) refers to the magnification, so bigger numbers mean you can see closer up, but the image will shake around more. The second number (like 40 or 50) is the diameter of the large lenses in millimetres. Bigger numbers mean more light gets in, so the image is clearer and better, at the expense of being larger and heavier to carry around.

With binoculars, once you get above the really cheap models (like $30-50), the image quality is pretty good. You can pay a lot more, like a few hundred dollars, or $1000 or $2000 even — but most of what you get isn't so much raw image quality but other features like durability, being waterproof, better lens coatings, image stabilisation, etc. Cheaper binoculars are more delicate and if not treated gently the two sides can go out of alignment with each other.

The product information says, "Tasco has been America's popular choice in sports optics for over 50 years. For half a century we've made it our mission to design and manufacture quality optics at prices that will fit any family's budget. Tasco products are packed with the latest features, built to exacting quality control standards, and designed to deliver a lifetime of satisfaction — so you can choose Tasco with confidence. With a great selection to choose from, you're sure to find just the right sports optics product for everyone in your family."

Purchase from Australia (Tentworld)

Purchase from Australia (BCF)

Browse different models of binoculars at [Tentworld] [Wild Earth] [BCF] [Kathmandu] [DWI] [Kogan] [Amazon USA]

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Golden Whistler - Pachycephala pectoralis

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