Corvus olivaceus Latham, 1801, New South Wales, Australia.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Stockwhip bird, green-backed whipbird; French: Psophode а tкte noire; German: Schwarzschopf-Wippflцter; Spanish: Pбjaro Lбtigo Verde.
10.4–12 in (26.5–30.5 cm); 1.6–2.5 oz (47–72 g). Dark olivegreen body, black head with small black crest, white cheeks, and long tail.
P. o. lateralis: northeast Australia; P. o. olivaceus: central east and southeast Australia.
Rainforest, eucalypt forest, riverine vegetation, other low dense vegetation.
Sedentary and territorial at all seasons. Usually stays on the ground or in low vegetation but may sing from high perch. Furtive and usually difficult to observe, but curious, approaching a quiet observer. Song an antiphonal duet, male producing soft swish then drawn out, explosive whip-crack to which female adds two quick, low notes.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Eats insects and other small invertebrates obtained by rummaging through leaves and other litter on forest floor with the bill.
One to two broods are reared in the season, which runs July–December. Two or three eggs, bluish white with black and gray spots or scribbles, are laid in the cup-shaped nest placed in dense vegetation near the ground. The female incubates and cares for the young, with the male assisting in their feeding. Incubation 18 days; young leave nest prematurely at 11–12 days.
Common but affected by clearing.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
The whip-crack song is one of Australia’s most familiar bird sounds, known to many people who have never seen the bird, and the source of many colloquial names for this species.
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