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Eastern whipbird        Images © Mark A. Chappell

The two species of whipbirds in Australia are both lovers of thick, dense brush and seldom emerge enough to be seen well, let along photographed.   So I was extremely pleased to find a very cooperative eastern whipbird sunning itself in a small brushy gully in Wombara, and another one in a brushland reserve in Wollongong, both in coastal New South Wales.   Whipbirds get their name for their whipcrack-like call, proceeded by a monotonic whistle that increases in volume until the 'crack'.   Sometimes a calling bird will dramatically extend his (?) wings, as at upper right.   Often a pair will duet, presumably to keep in contact with each other in the thick brush they favor.

  • Canon 1D3, 500 mm IS lens plus 1.4X extender, fill-in flash (2009)