Rusty-breasted Whistler – Pachycephala fulvotincta

Endemic species “Level 1*” (“classical”) – published on the 26th of May 2020Ecolodge_indonesia_logo_small
Page fully published with ECOLODGES INDONESIA
See Pachycephalidae family (whistlers)
In French: Siffleur fauve en français

This beautiful bird is endemic to Indonesia and found mainly on the Lesser Sundas and some adjacent regions, west to the eastern part of Sumatra and north to a few satellite islands of Sulawesi. It lives in both lowland and mountain forests, in woodlands, mangroves and even drier environments with enough dense bushes. It is therefore not threatened and can be considered fairly common.

The female is said to lay only two eggs, but otherwise no data on breeding is available. It is mainly insectivorous and finds its invertebrate preys in the foliage, in the mid-strata or in the canopy. It can swallow a seed or a fruit, but this seems rather occasional.

It perfectly deserves his name as a whistler as its powerful whistles are heard frequently. We noticed this bird is quite difficult to see, like most species of its family, and when it can be seen well, in the forest, the light can make shooting difficult.

The pleasure of the “surprise visit” in front of the balcony!

We have repeatedly shown birds photographed from the balcony of our chalet at the Mbeliling Ecolodge, for example the Flores Drongo or the Flame-breasted Sunbird. Birds like these, flowerpeckers and munias are some of the species that ornithologists expect to see from their room if the lodge has a garden. The whistler, in the other hand, which lives in the forest canopy is a little more unusual. However, we saw it one of the first days, with a large insect in its beak.

It was early in the morning and, although it seemed lucky for the sighting, it was not very useful for the photography (too weak light). We tried to photograph it in the forest. The females and young seemed quite cooperative and, with time, we were able to take images several times at close range, which help in better management of the hard forest light, here are two examples. We can see the yellow undertails which make identification easy.

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