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Pachycephalidae – Whistlers and Allies

Arafura Shrikethrush in Australia: Photo by David Irving

Pachycephalidae, commonly known as the whistlers and shrikethrushes, are a diverse family of passerine birds found primarily in the Australasian region.

Overview of Pachycephalidae

This diverse assemblage of robust songbirds, characterized by their prominent heads and sturdy build, is predominantly found in the Australo-Papuan region. Only three species have crossed Wallace’s Line, extending their range into Borneo, the Philippines, and the west coast of Southeast Asia. Despite their modest gray and brown plumage, the shrike-thrushes emit some of the most captivating songs globally. Their haunting, resonant melodies contribute to the iconic dawn choruses of their native habitats, evoking a sense of profound beauty and familiarity. Unlike many corvoids, these birds exhibit simpler social behaviors, and cooperative breeding remains undocumented within this family.