Interactive Eastern Whipbird Map

The forests of Australia's east coast are home to one of the world's most remarkable singers: the Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus). Male and female whipbirds sing highly coordinated vocal duets. The male begins the duet with a piercing whistle and a loud "whip crack". The female terminates the duet with two or three quick whistled notes. Together with my colleague Amy Rogers of the University of Melbourne, I conducted a comparison of male and female throughout eastern Australia. We found a remarkable pattern: males sound highly similar throughout Australia whereas females sound remarkably different from one place to the next. Listen to recordings of male and female eastern whipbirds by clicking on the sound spectrograms in the map below. You can read a journal article about this research by clicking this link: Mennill & Rogers (2006) Whip it good! Geographic consistency in male songs and variability in female songs of the duetting eastern whipbird, Psophodes olivaceus. Journal of Avian Biology 37:93-100.

Eastern Whipbird photograph by David Paul

Click on the sound spectrograms below to hear the sound files!
Male Songs

Female Songs

Return to Dan Mennill's Homepage
Return to Dan Mennill's Publications Page