Finding golden whistlers

To: <>
Subject: Finding golden whistlers
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 23:15:22 +1000
I would certainly agree with Jack that having two males together unusual. Interestingly though, this aspect asked below has been described before. See the relevant extract from The GBS Report (this bit in red). Indeed as casual comment, a far greater proportion of the Golden Whistlers that I see in bush settings are adult males than in suburbia. I think Mathew means making sightings, rather than making sitings (making a place).
Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoralis

An altitudinal migrant that is a common species in the forest ranges in the summer time and is common around Canberra in winter (Purchase and Wilson 1999). It can occur in any suburban garden that has some tall shrub and tree cover. A large proportion of the observations in autumn and winter are of first year independent juveniles that are basically grey but with obvious brownish wings. Adult males, although they are quite spectacular in plumage, seem to be much less recorded than juveniles or the adult females that are plain grey. This is a broad unquantified impression based largely on the many people that did record the sex of individuals of this species. Bell (1986) working at Armidale NSW explained this as due to behaviour differences. Mostly there are only one or two birds per observation. The majority of records report the same number of birds over a period of several weeks or even throughout the winter, so this species is quite content in the suburban habitat during winter. Even so, it is interesting in that in many years there is a twin peak in its winter occurrence and this shows up in all years combined data. Only the Rose Robin and Grey Currawong have a similar pattern and likely for similar unknown reason. It appears that many birds are passing through the area during the winter time. >From a February low it rises to a May peak then declines slightly through June, July and rising slightly through August and September before declining to the summer low. Long-term it appears to have undergone a significant increase, mainly between 1984 and 1987, although with some undulations, so any real trend is not so clear. Certainly the numbers in the first four years were much lower than subsequent years. The only GBS breeding record was in early November Year 20 at Site 203 and it was just a dependent young observation, it may have been hatched far away.
Graphs on page: 101, Rank: 29, Breeding Rank: 90, A = 0.14473, F = 59.74%, W = 43.6, R = 12.186%, G = 1.19.

And the ref is:

Bell, H.L. 1986, ‘Sexual differences in the behaviour of wintering Golden Whistlers Pachycephala pectoralis at Wollomombi, N.S.W.’, Emu 86: 2–11.


and the behaviour differences were that males tend to forage higher in the canopy than juveniles or the adult females and are less likely to join mixed species flocks.





-----Original Message-----From: pardalote [ Sent: Wednesday, 18 April 2012 7:06 PM
To:       Subject: [canberrabirds] Finding golden whistlers

I have read a few posts and discovered many people are making sitings of mature male golden whistlers.  I was wondering in which locations and habitats am I most likely to find one? Would the local creek (Ginninderra) do?

I was reminded by Milburn’s posting last night that on Sunday afternoon I had two male Golden Whistlers calling loudly in the mixed feeding flock in my GBS site in Chapman, together with a female/immature.  While the latter has been more conspicuous this year than for quite a few years, I certainly found having two males together unusual.
Jack Holland
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU