Eastern Whipbird

Sounds & Calls

Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus)

Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus)
Photo Credit: Imogen / Adobe Stock

The song of the Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus) is one of the most iconic sounds of the forests of eastern Australia. Although the birds themselves often remain hidden in the undergrowth, their sharp, whipcrack-like calls are loud and distinctive. Calls often are a ‘duet’ between two birds, likely a male/female response (although I’m not sure if it’s ever actually been proven which sex makes which part of the call as both male and female look identical!). In any case, one bird makes the initial whistle and whipcrack, followed by a response of 1-4 notes by the second bird. Apart from the classic ‘whipcrack’ song, Eastern Whipbirds make a variety of other sounds including harsh bubbly chattering and rasping calls.

Listen to Eastern Whipbird Sounds

The following video contains a variety of Eastern Whipbird song variations and other call-types.
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Eastern Whipbird – Typical whipcrack song duet

XC171978 This first audio sample features a typical antiphonal duet recorded in Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, NSW.
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Eastern Whipbird – Variation of typical song

 XC327847 A variation on the typical call/response recorded in the Border Ranges, northern NSW.
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Eastern Whipbird – Rasping calls

 XC171980 Harsher, rasping-type calls often heard while the birds are foraging in undergrowth.