Family Whistlers (Pachycephalidae)

Least Concern

Gilbert's Whistler (Pachycephala inornata)


French: Siffleur de Gilbert German: Schwarzzügel-Dickkopf Spanish: Silbador de Gilbert

Pachycephala inornata


, 1841,

“belts of the Murray”, South Australia, Australia


Plumage varies clinally, with lower underparts rich ochraceous buff in W and becoming colder and greyish-white towards E, but individual variation also evident; birds from lightly timbered and mallee areas of SW Australia (E at least to Nullarbor Plain) occasionally separated as race gilbertii, but appear to represent part of cline. See also P. olivacea. Monotypic.


Mallee tracts of SW Western Australia (except corner) E to NC Victoria and C New South Wales.

Descriptive notes

17–20·5 cm; 28–36 g. Male has crown and sides of head and neck dark grey, lores through area below orbit black; mantle, back and scapulars dark brownish-... read more


Varied repertoire; voice audible up to 900 m. Probable territorial vocalizations are 5–20... read more


Inhabits semi-arid woodland and shrublands, particularly mallee, and mulga and other acacia (... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods, mainly insects; also fruits and seeds. Foraging heights in one study below 0·5 m (20%), 1–1·5 m (24%), 1... read more


Eggs late Jul to late Dec. Territorial. Courtship chases of female by male followed by offer of nest material. Nest a deep cup of dry grass... read more


Present throughout year in some areas, but appears intermittently in others, mainly in non-breeding... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon generally; scarcer in W of range. Has declined in areas owing to loss or fragmentation of habitat. Listed as “Vulnerable” in New South Wales.

Recommended citation

Boles, W. (2018). Gilbert's Whistler (Pachycephala inornata). 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 19 October 2018).