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

Gymnorhina tibicen This large black and white bird is a common and familiar bird, especially on open grassy areas, with scattered trees, where it walks along the ground searching for the insects and their larvae that constitute the bulk of its diet. 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...

Black Butcherbird

Melloria quoyi The Black Butcherbird (up to 45 cm) is almost entirely deep bluish-black, except for the large silver-grey bill with a black tip. It inhabits rainforests and mangroves, including adjacent parkland and urban gardens, where it It is diurnal and largely sedentary, with pairs occupying permanent territories. The species has a range. Three of the four recognised subspecies are found...

Pied Currawong

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.  Two other species of Currawong are found in Australia.  The Grey Currawong is found thr...