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#ThreatenedThursday: Western Heath Whipbird

#ThreatenedThursday: Western Heath Whipbird

March 25, 2021


SPECIES: Psophodes nigrogularis nigrogularis — Western Heath Whipbird

CLASSIFICATION: Endangered


The Western Heath Whipbird is a medium-sized ground-dwelling songbird. Built with powerful legs, short wings and a long tail, it is now restricted to a small area on the coast of south-western WA. Adult birds are olive on their upper body, the underbody is olive or greyish and it has a distinct narrow black stripe bordered below by a narrow white stripe.


The total population of the Western Heath Whipbird is estimated at 500 breeding birds across five locations. Up until 2000, the overall population size was seen to be increasing. Favoured home conditions of the Western Heath Whipbird are dense heath-like shrubby thickets on coastal dunes, mallee woodland or shrubland.


The Western Heath Whipbird mainly feeds on insects – beetles, ants, grasshoppers, and occasionally, small reptiles. Major threats include loss of habitat due to land clearing for agriculture and fire.


Photo: Environment SA