The Rufous Whistler is a stocky bird with a large head, short stubby bill and a narrow, relatively long tail with a square or slightly forked tip. The sexes differ, with the male dark-grey above with a white throat, black breast and a reddish underbody. Many males also have a black face mask (except in northern subspecies). Females are dull grey to brown, with streaked underparts. Young birds are much redder than adults and have heavily streaked underparts.
The male Rufous Whistler is quite distinctive with its reddish underparts, grey head and white throat, combined with black mask (over most of range). The female and immature birds can be distinguished from most other whistlers by heavy streaking on the underparts.
The Rufous Whistler is found in forests, woodlands and shrublands, with a shrubby understorey. Is also found in gardens and farmland with some trees, and in remnant bushland patches.
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