Whistlers (Pachycephalidae)

Grey Whistler (Pachycephala simplex) - HBW 12, p. 416

French: Siffleur sobre German: Graudickkopf Spanish: Silbador Simple
Other common names: Brown Whistler/Thickhead (simplex and dubia); Grey-headed Whistler (all other races); York Thickhead (peninsulae)

Taxonomy: Pachycephala simplex Gould, 1843, Port Essington, Northern Territory, Australia.
Races sometimes separated into two species, one with nominate race and dubia (both browner, and lacking yellow pigmentation in plumage), the other containing the nine remaining races (all grey, with some yellow on underparts), such treatment possibly better; in E New Guinea, however, dubia hybridizes with jobiensis in N (near Astrolabe Bay) and with perneglecta in S (near R Laloki). Further research warranted. Name “P. rufipennis” was based on immature of present species. Eleven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • waigeuensis Stresemann & Paludan, 1932 - N West Papuan Is (Gebe, Waigeo).
  • gagiensis Mayr, 1940 - Gagi I (SW of Waigeo).
  • griseiceps G. R. Gray, 1858 - West Papuan Is (Salawati, Batanta, Misool), NW New Guinea (Vogelkop E to head of Geelvink Bay) and Aru Is.

     See all 11 subspecies
  • waigeuensis Stresemann & Paludan, 1932 - N West Papuan Is (Gebe, Waigeo).
  • gagiensis Mayr, 1940 - Gagi I (SW of Waigeo).
  • griseiceps G. R. Gray, 1858 - West Papuan Is (Salawati, Batanta, Misool), NW New Guinea (Vogelkop E to head of Geelvink Bay) and Aru Is.
  • miosnomensis Salvadori, 1879 - Meos Num (in Geelvink Bay).
  • jobiensis A. B. Meyer, 1874 - N New Guinea from Yapen Is and E coast of Geelvink Bay E to Astrolabe Bay.
  • rufipennis G. R. Gray, 1858 - Kai Is.
  • perneglecta E. J. O. Hartert, 1930 - S New Guinea from foot of Weyland Mts (S from R Mimika) E, including Daru I, to Galley Reach.
  • dubia E. P. Ramsay, 1879 - SE New Guinea E from Huon Peninsula and, in S, from Sogeri District and R Laloki, and D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago (Goodenough I, Fergusson I, Normanby I).
  • sudestensis ( De Vis, 1892) - Louisiade Archipelago (Tagula I), E of D’Entrecasteaux. (New Guinea).
  • simplex Gould, 1843 - N Northern Territory (Port Keats E to Port Bradshaw, including Melville I and Groote Eylandt), in N Australia.
  • peninsulae E. J. O. Hartert, 1899 - NE Queensland (Cape York Peninsula S to Cairns district), in NE Australia.