Lord Howe Golden Whistlers

Lord Howe Golden Whistlers (Pachycephala pectoralis contempta)

The Lord Howe Golden Whistlers (Pachycephala pectoralis contempta), also known as the Lord Howe Whistler or Lord Howe Island Golden Whistlers, and locally as the “Robin” or “Yellow Robin”, is a small bird in the whistler family, Pachycephalidae.

It is a subspecies of the Australian Golden Whistler ( Pachycephala pectoralis) that is endemic to Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea, part of New South Wales, Australia.

Lord Howe Golden Whistlers on a Tree Branch
Lord Howe Golden Whistler on a Tree Branch


Males are similar to those of the nominate subspecies, though with a broader yellow collar. Females differ slightly in having their primary and secondary feathers distinctly washed with cinnamon-brown, a yellowish-grey belly, and pale-yellow under-tail coverts.

Distribution and habitat

The whistler is restricted to Lord Howe Island, where it is widely distributed through the native subtropical rainforest, as well as in remnant native vegetation on roadsides in settled areas.


The whistler breeds from September to January. It builds an open cup-shaped nest of palm fibres and vine tendrils, lined with grass, in which it lays a clutch of two eggs.


The whistlers eat spiders, insects, and insect larvae, foraging through tree branches as well as on the ground in leaf litter.

Close up of Lord Howe Golden Whistlers
Close up of Lord Howe Golden Whistler

Status and conservation

The population of the Lord Howe Golden Whistler has been estimated at 2,000 breeding birds and is stable. It has been listed as Vulnerable by the Australian Government because of its small distribution. It is not listed anymore.

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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