Butcherbirds, Currawongs & Magpie

Adult cracticids are typically black or grey, most with small to large patches of white, with the notable exception of the Black Butcherbird Mellioria quoyi of northern Qld and New Guinea. Three of the nine species have distributions outside of Australia[Pg7] . The Australian Magpie is one of the most widespread birds in Australia, just reaching southern New Guinea. Currawongs are endemic to this country.

Scientific name: Cracticidae (family)

Australian Magpie

Australian Magpie

What does it look and sound like?  This large black and white bird is common and familiar. Its conspicuous plumage varies throughout the species range. The nape, upper tail and shoulders are white in all forms and in most cases the remainder of the body is black. Birds from Tasmania, the south-east, centre and extreme south-west of mainland Australia have an entirely white back. In addition to this, ...
Black Butcherbird

Black Butcherbird

What does it look and sound like?  The Black Butcherbird is almost entirely deep bluish-black, except for the large silver-grey bill with a black tip. Where does it live?  The species has a large range. Three of the four recognised subspecies are found in Australia, with Melloria quoyi spaldingi found from western NT to the Gulf of Carpentaria, M. q. jardini in northern Qld, from Cape York P...
Pied Currawong

Pied Currawong

What does it look and sound like?   This large black and white bird is often confused with the Australian Magpie, although it is quite different in plumage.  The Pied Currawong is almost entirely black, with large patches of white in the wings and a white base and tip to the tail.  Unlike the Magpie, the bill is wholly black and the eye is yellow. The name Currawong was derived from the “currawong” call of...