Eastern Whip Bird

How is this?

Australian Eastern Whip Bird

Ever heard what sounds like a whip crack. You have probably heard the call of the elusive Australian whip bird, as it is heard more often than seen. They like to hide and hop in dense undergrowth, camouflaging themselves into the background. Their call is loud and distinct and can make many people stop mid-track when walking through the Australian wet temperate forests which whip birds like to call home. Their call is actually a duet between a male and female (monogamous pairs), acting a call and answer sequence, to signal their territory and to identify the caller’s position, as they forage for insects in leaf litter. They forage mainly by foot, flying/hopping with their tail fanned through the underbrush. The male makes a long drawn out whistle and then a whipcrack, and if the female replies, she makes a follow-on note that is a sort of a “choo choo choo” sound. It sounds amazing if you happen to be between the pair when they call. Calls are most frequent in the early morning, though do occur through the day, with small peaks at noon and sunset.

If you are luckily to spot a whip bird; it can be identified as slim and small, at approximately 30cm in length and weighing 50-70g. The male is also slightly larger than the female. It is olive green, with a paler abdomen, black head and breast as well as a fairly long dark olive-green tail, tipped with white. The small black crest on their head is a distinguishing feature. It also has a white cheek-patch on its face, black bill, brown/red eye and blackish feet. Juveniles are a duller olive-brown and lack the white cheek stripes and dark throat.

The eastern whip bird is distributed on the Eastern coast, from south Melbourne to just north of Cairns. If you are looking to try your luck at seeing one of these birds, or simply listen to their beautiful songs, then a population can be found at Maleny (hinterland of the Sunshine Coast), at Bendles Cottages.


They have adapted to living within their gardens, as well as the native bush, which is all around the property. They are very shy and hard to photograph, so you might need a bit of patience and persistence. However, they are always outside the open windows, hiding in the foliage and making their beautiful call.

To have chance of enjoying this beautiful little fellow go to Bendles Cottages

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