Family Whistlers (Pachycephalidae)

Least Concern

Oriole Whistler (Pachycephala orioloides)


French: Siffleur loriot German: Salomonendickkopf Spanish: Silbador oriolino

Pachycephala orioloides


, 1853,

San Jorge Island (off south Santa Isabel), Solomon Islands


Previously included in P. pectoralis (see that species); separable from others in the complex by a combination of large size and (in male) black chin (not in christophori), relatively small area of yellow on throat, usually broad breastband, and (in female) pale bill. Some authors#R include P. feminina as a race. Form whitneyi, formerly treated as a race of P. melanura, is now considered a hybrid between that species and race bougainvillei of present species#R. Nine subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. o. bougainvillei Mayr, 1932 – Buka, Bougainville I and NW Solomon Is (Shortland Is).
  • P. o. orioloides Pucheran, 1853 – W & C Solomons (Choiseul, Malakobi, Santa Isabel, Florida Is).
  • P. o. melanonota E. J. O. Hartert, 1908 – W Solomons (Vella Lavella, Ranongga).
  • P. o. centralis Mayr, 1932 – W Solomons (Kolombangara, New Georgia, Vangunu, Nggatokae).
  • P. o. melanoptera Mayr, 1932 – W Solomons (Rendova, Tetepare).
  • P. o. pavuvu Mayr, 1932 – Russell Is (Banika, Pavuvu, Moie), in SC Solomons.
  • P. o. sanfordi Mayr, 1931 – Malaita (SE Solomons).
  • P. o. cinnamomea (E. P. Ramsay, 1879) – Guadalcanal and Beagle I (S Solomons).
  • P. o. christophori Tristram, 1879 – Makira (San Cristobal) and Santa Ana (SE Solomons).
  • Descriptive notes

    17–19 cm; 41·5–57·5 g (nominate). Nominate race is very large, male with crown and sides of face black, black extending in a moderately broad band across upper breast and... read more


    Quite vocal. Song of simple loud melodious whistles or explosive notes, variable, often... read more


    Forested areas, including primary and secondary growth, plantations; enters wooded gardens. On... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and spiders, occasionally some fruit. Forages mostly in middle and upper storeys, primarily by gleaning; on Guadalcanal seen to... read more


    Adult carrying nesting material in mid Jul and fledgling seen in Nov on Guadalcanal; several specimens in breeding condition in May on... read more


    More or less sedentary throughout range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Appears to be generally uncommon.

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Oriole Whistler (Pachycephala orioloides). 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 20 April 2019).