Nature conservation

Threatened species

Olive Whistler - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Pachycephala olivacea
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 01 Dec 2017


The Olive Whistler is a small, stocky bird with a large head and strong sharp bill. It grows up to 22 cm long, including the 10 cm tail. It has a dark grey head, olive-brown upperparts, a grey throat and buff-brown underparts. The female is duller in colour than the male. The Olive Whistler has perhaps the most rich and melodious array of calls of any of the whistlers.


The Olive Whistler inhabits the wet forests on the ranges of the east coast. It has a disjunct distribution in NSW chiefly occupying the beech forests around Barrington Tops and the MacPherson Ranges in the north and wet forests from Illawarra south to Victoria. In the south it is found inland to the Snowy Mountains and the Brindabella Range.

Habitat and ecology

  • Mostly inhabit wet forests above about 500m. During the winter months they may move to lower altitudes.
  • Forage in trees and shrubs and on the ground, feeding on berries and insects.
  • Make nests of twigs and grass in low forks of shrubs.
  • Lay two or three eggs between September and January

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Australian AlpsSnowy Mountains Known None
NandewarPeel Predicted None
New England TablelandsArmidale Plateau Predicted None
New England TablelandsEbor Basalts Known None
New England TablelandsRound Mountain Known None
New England TablelandsWalcha Plateau Known None
NSW North CoastBarrington Known None
NSW North CoastCarrai Plateau Known None
NSW North CoastChaelundi Known None
NSW North CoastCoffs Coast and Escarpment Known None
NSW North CoastComboyne Plateau Known None
NSW North CoastDalmorton Predicted None
NSW North CoastMacleay Gorges Predicted None
NSW North CoastMacleay Hastings Known None
NSW North CoastMummel Escarpment Known None
NSW North CoastTomalla Known None
NSW North CoastUpper Hunter Known None
NSW North CoastUpper Manning Known None
NSW North CoastWashpool Predicted None
NSW North CoastYuraygir Known None
Ocean - Other StateSouthern Australian Coastal Waters Known None
Other StateACT Known None
Other StateJervis Bay Territory Predicted None
Other StateQLD Known None
Other StateSA Known None
Other StateVIC Known None
South East CornerBateman Known None
South East CornerEast Gippsland Lowlands Known None
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBondo Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Known None
South Eastern HighlandsKybeyan-Gourock Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMonaro Known None
South Eastern QueenslandBurringbar-Conondale Ranges Known None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Lowlands Known None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Sandstones Predicted None
South Eastern QueenslandScenic Rim Known None
South Eastern QueenslandSunshine Coast-Gold Coast Lowlands Predicted None
Sydney BasinEttrema Known None
Sydney BasinIllawarra Known None
Sydney BasinJervis Known None
Sydney BasinKerrabee Predicted None
Sydney BasinMoss Vale Known None
Sydney BasinYengo Predicted None