Pachycephala is a genus of birds native to Oceania and Southeast Asia. They are commonly known as typical whistlers. Older guidebooks may refer to them as thickheads, a literal translation of the generic name, which is derived from the Ancient Greek terms pachys "thick" + kephale "head". This lineage originated in Australo-Papua and later colonized the Indonesian and Philippine archipelagos to the west and the Pacific archipelagos to the east.[1]

Rufous Whistler male kobble.jpg
Adult male rufous whistler
(Pachycephala rufiventris)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pachycephalidae
Subfamily: Pachycephalinae
Genus: Pachycephala
Vigors, 1825
see text
  • Alisterornis
  • Hyloterpe
  • Lewinornis
  • Muscitrea

Taxonomy and systematicsEdit

Extant speciesEdit

There are forty-eight species of whistlers:[2]

Former speciesEdit

Formerly, some authorities also considered the following species (or subspecies) as species within the genus Pachycephala:

An unidentified Pachycephala whistler was heard on May 14, 1994 at 1,000 meters ASL south of the summit of Camiguin in the Philippines, where the genus was not previously known to occur. It might have been an undescribed taxon, or simply a vagrant of a known species.[5]


  1. ^ Jønsson, K.A. et al. (2014) Evidence of taxon cycles in an Indo-Pacific passerine bird radiation (Aves: Pachycephala). Proc. R. Soc. B.
  2. ^ "Whiteheads, sitellas & whistlers « IOC World Bird List". Retrieved 2017-02-04.
  3. ^ "Coracornis raveni - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  4. ^ "Colluricincla megarhyncha fortis - Avibase". Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  5. ^ Balete, Danilo S.; Tabaranza, Blas R. Jr. & Heaney, Lawrence R. (2006) An Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Camiguin Island, Philippines. Fieldiana Zool. New Series 106: 58–72.