Reverse call of whipbird

To: Peter Ormay <>, 'Canberra Birds' <>
Subject: Reverse call of whipbird
From: John Harris <>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 11:20:57 +0000
Hi Peter,
Whipbirds have a lot of variation in their calls and furthermore, it is not immediately easy to work out how many birds are combining.
I am not sure what  you mean by ’reverse call’ but I take it to mean that the  eeeeeeee of the eeeeeeee-chong of the whip sound can be a falling eeeeeee or a rising eeeeeee.
It would not surprise me at all if whip birds sometimes reversed the rise or fall. I am far from an expert but I have just come back from a week at Bawley Point and do not at all miss the whip birds at 5.00 am. So I am familiar with their calls.
While I would not begin to doubt your friend, is it possible that he/she was hearing a Rufous Whistler?
There was one on Percival Hill until recently with such a loud whipcrack that I thought it at first to be a whip bird. I nearly reported it but was cautious. But they are very rare hereabouts. Eventually I was able to observe the bird itself and hear the response from other birds. It was a Rufous Whistler. It certainly seemed to have both a rising eeeeee or eee eee eee and a falling eeeeee before the loud whipcrack.

From: Peter Ormay <>
Date: Tuesday, 21 January 2014 2:09 pm
To: 'Canberra Birds' <>
Subject: [canberrabirds] Reverse call of whipbird

A friend reported reverse calls of Whipbirds along Guthega Ck to Whites River Hut upstream from Horse Camp but downstream from Whites recently (early Jan.). I didn’t realize that they did reverse calls. I checked in HANZAB and sure enough it has been recorded from several locations.


Has anybody heard reverse calls of Whipbirds in COG’s area of interest?




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