Eastern Whipbird Calls – Cracking Duets

The call 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.

Listen to Eastern Whipbird Calls

XC171978 This first sample features a typical antiphonal duet recorded in Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, NSW.

XC327847 A variation on the typical call/response recorded in the Border Ranges, northern NSW.

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

In the following podcast I discuss the call of the Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus) along with some audio examples.