Family Whistlers (Pachycephalidae)

Least Concern

Sandstone Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla woodwardi)


French: Siffleur des rochers German: Felsendickkopf Spanish: Picanzo roquero

Colluricincla woodwardi

E. J. O. Hartert

, 1905,

South Alligator River, Northern Territory, Australia


Somewhat paler and greyer birds in W of range sometimes separated as race assimilis, but differences from E birds slight, and variation apparently clinal. Monotypic.


N Western Australia (E from Kimberley), N Northern Territory and extreme NW Queensland.

Descriptive notes

25–26·5 cm; 50–60 g. Male has head and neck dark grey, shading to olive-tinged brownish-grey on upperparts; side of face whitish-buff, lores paler;... read more


Rich, clear, varied song includes 2 repeated whistles. Call a metallic “pwink”; contact... read more


Sandstone escarpments, gorges and hills, extending locally into limestone, granite and quartzite... read more

Food and feeding

Insects and spiders (Araneae), occasionally small vertebrates. Forages on ground, in spinifex clumps and cracks in rocky substrate, under... read more


Eggs in late Oct and early Nov in Western Australia and late Aug to late Jan in Northern Territory. Nest a cup of spinifex, twigs and... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common.

Recommended citation

Boles, W. (2018). Sandstone Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla woodwardi). 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 12 December 2018).