Family Whipbirds and Wedgebills (Psophodidae)

Least Concern

Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus)


French: Psophode à tête noire German: Schwarzschopf-Wippflöter Spanish: Zordala crestada oriental

C[orvus]. olivaceus


, 1801,

New South Wales, Australia


Sister to P. cristatus and P. occidentalis, based on findings of recent phylogenetic study#R. Proposed race magnirostris (Rockhampton district of CE Queensland) inseparable from nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. o. lateralis North, 1897 – NE Queensland (Cairns and Atherton Tableland region), in NE Australia.
  • P. o. olivaceus (Latham, 1801) – CE Queensland (from Clarke Range) S to SE Victoria.
  • Descriptive notes

    25–30 cm; male 60–75 g, female 48–64 g. Nominate race has head and triangular erectile crest black, grading to olive-brown on nape; broad white patch from... read more


    Song, given at relatively constant rate throughout year, most often in early morning, then... read more


    Dense undergrowth in rainforest, wet eucalypt (Eucalyptus) forest and riverine vegetation... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and other small invertebrates, i.e. spiders (Araneae) and millipedes (Diplopoda); rarely, small lizards and frogs; also seeds,... read more


    Season Jul–Nov in NE Queensland, Jul–Feb (peak Sept–Oct) and fledglings until Mar in New South Wales, and Sept–Oct... read more


    Mainly sedentary, although juveniles disperse from natal area; all recaptured marked individuals... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common throughout range. Adversely affected locally by clearance; recorded as returning to logged areas c. 5 years after logging. More abundant in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Boles, W. (2019). Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 April 2019).