Sunday, 3 February 2019

Grey Butcher Bird

A widely distributed endemic species related to the better known Australian magpies. You will find them in the suburbs and the countryside throughout the temperate parts of Australia. The Grey Butcher Bird Cracticus torquatus preys on small birds, insects and reptiles, waiting patiently in a tree then pouncing on the victim on the ground from on high. You can see the hook on the tip of the beak that ensures prey is securely caught.

Cracticus torquatus in Geijera parviflorus. Photographed by Susan from Loire Valley Time Travel.
Groups of butcher birds will often 'carol' together, taking different parts like an orchestra or taking turns to sing a different phrase.

This one is sitting in a Wilga Geijera parviflora, a small tree native to eastern inland bush. It is one of the characteristic trees of the area of Queensland I grew up in.


chm said...

It looks like it is a big bird.
Is the tree related to Eucalyptus?

Susan said...

The bird is the size of a large thrush. The tree is related to citrus.

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