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Eastern Whipbird nesting, calling, and showing its colours

Eastern Whipbirds make the oddest noise. As their name implies, their call sounds a little like a whip cracking: p-p-peeeuuw pheuw-pheuw. Actually, to me, it sounds more like a laser gun in a child’s science fiction game.

I have two videos to show you. The first is cool because right at the beginning, the bird is in the sun, and you can see all the olive colour in its feathers. Usually, the birds are more like dark blobs because they stick to the shady parts of the bush. In the video you can also see the bird make its characteristic call.

At the beginning of the second video, the bird is tending a nest. I didn’t see that until I got the video home and looked on the wider screen. There’s more of the calling too, which takes a lot of energy. The little bird almost leaps off the branch with the effort.

Common name: Eastern Whipbird

Scientific name: Psophodes olivaceus

Approximate length: 30 cm

Date spotted: 13 August 2017 (Early spring)

Location: Manly Dam National Reserve, New South Wales, Australia: 33°46’36.9″S 151°15’16.7″E

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Eastern Whipbird calling

Eastern Whipbirds are usually difficult to spot. They move fast, and somehow they always manage to put a bush between you and them, or to position the sun behind them to blind you. So I was delighted to catch this video of an Eastern Whipbird making his weird call. The sound is a long drawn-out whistle, followed by a mini explosion a bit like the crack of a whip. Hence the bird’s name!

Common name: Eastern Whipbird

Scientific name: Psophodes olivaceus

Approximate length: 30 cm

Date spotted: 23 November 2013

Season: Early summer

Location: Manly Dam Reserve, New South Wales, Australia

Latitude/longitude: -33.776508,151.254956