Family Bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchidae)

Least Concern

White-eared Catbird (Ailuroedus buccoides)


French: Jardinier à joues blanches German: Weißohr-Laubenvogel Spanish: Maullador cariblanco

Kitta buccoides


, 1836,

Lobo, Triton Bay, New Guinea


Recent genetic and morphological study of genus#R suggests that races represent three distinct clades, perhaps constituting three species (with cinnamomeus as a race of “A. stonii”); for present not followed herein, pending further study. Otherwise, cinnamomeus sometimes included in nominate#R. Birds in E part of range of geislerorum described as race molestus, and may merit recognition. Birds from Waigeo included in nominate, but sometimes separated as race oorti. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. b. buccoides (Temminck, 1836) – White-eared Catbird – West Papuan Is (Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati), and NW New Guinea E to Siriwo R in N and, in S, to Triton Bay.
  • A. b. geislerorum A. B. Meyer, 1891 – Tan-capped Catbird – Yapen I (in Geelvink Bay) and N New Guinea from Mamberamo R area E to Collingwood Bay area.
  • A. b. cinnamomeus Mees, 1964 – S New Guinea from Mimika R E to upper Fly R and L Kutubu area.
  • A. b. stonii Sharpe, 1876 – Ochre-breasted Catbird – SE New Guinea from upper Purari R (including Karimui, Bomai and Soliabeda areas, in Eastern Highlands) E along coast to Amazon Bay.
  • Descriptive notes

    24·5 cm; male 110–172 g, female 100–152 g. Nominate race has variable mid-brown to olive-brown crown tinged greenish, ear-coverts, side of lower head and... read more


    Territorial calls by pairs include cat-like nasal meowing, prolonged harsh churring, and low... read more


    Forest, occasionally forest edge; mainly lowland and hill forest, but also monsoon forests in SE.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits and insects; also small adult birds, and doubtless nestlings. Nestling diet fruits and arthropods. Forages among foliage, mostly of... read more


    Season variable across range, egg-laying recorded in Jan, Apr–Jun and Nov, nestlings in May–Jun; breeding bimodal at some... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common and widespread throughout most of range; uncommon in Ok Tedi mining area, in C New Guinea. Nine birds/10 ha of lowland rainforest at Brown R,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Frith, C. & Frith, D. (2020). White-eared Catbird (Ailuroedus buccoides). 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 2 April 2020).