Family Thornbills (Acanthizidae)

Least Concern

Goldenface (Pachycare flavogriseum)


French: Pachycare nain German: Goldstirnhuscher Spanish: Silbador enano

Pachycephala flavogrisea

A. B. Meyer

, 1874,

Arfak Mountains, New Guinea


Racial identification of museum specimens possibly confounded by post-mortem fading of underpart colour; races subpallidum and subaurantium grade into each other in Sepik Mts; randi perhaps better synonymized with subaurantium#R. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. f. flavogriseum (A. B. Meyer, 1874) – Vogelkop (Arfak Mts, Tamrau Mts) and Wandammen Mts, in W New Guinea.
  • P. f. subaurantium Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1911 – C New Guinea in Weyland Mts, S slopes of Nassau Mts, Oranje Mts and Victor Emanuel Mts E probably to Mt Karimui.
  • P. f. randi Gilliard, 1961 – Idenburg R, in N New Guinea.
  • P. f. lecroyae Beehler & Prawiradilaga, 2010 – mountains of N New Guinea (Bewani Mts, Torricelli Mts).
  • P. f. subpallidum E. J. O. Hartert, 1930 – New Guinea E & SE from Sepik Mts, Huon Peninsula (Saruwaged Mts), Herzog Mts and, in S, Eastern Highlands (probably from Okasa).
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; 14–19 g. Male nominate race has crown and hindneck light bluish-grey, separated by black stripe from bright yellow forehead, broad supercilium and ear-coverts;... read more


    Song is variations on loud upslurred whistle of 2 (sometimes 3–4) notes, “wheep wheep... read more


    Hill and lower montane forest, also neighbouring secondary growth; often in thicker vegetation,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and spiders (Araneae). Forages in outer foliage, about equally in lower and middle storeys, occasionally in higher storey. Gleans... read more


    Males with enlarged testes in Aug, and laying female in early Oct; egg found in mid-Jun, and nestlings in late Nov. Nest built by both... read more


    Presumably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common in upper part of altitudinal range; much less so at lower elevations.

    Recommended citation

    Boles, W. (2019). Goldenface (Pachycare flavogriseum). 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 16 February 2019).