It looks very much like the Grey Currawong except with a shorter tail and more fluff). Grey Currawongs Strepera versicolor are also found in the district. I never know when I see a bird whether it is a magpie or a currawong. It produces a clutch of three eggs; they are a light pinkish-brown colour (likened by one author to that of silly putty) with splotches of darker pink-brown and lavender. It has yellow eyes. [4] Birds appear to moult once a year in late summer after breeding. A successful challenger is then challenged in its turn by other birds in the flock. All orders are custom made and most ship worldwide within 24 hours. This increase has been most marked, however, in Sydney and Canberra since the 1940s and 1960s, respectively. When a group of them saw the two young Magpie-larks in the cage under the blackwood’s overhanging branches, they wasted no time in descending upon the cage and pulling the defenceless birds through the bars, and killing and eating them. While we all love to report intelligent activity from birds, some birds can also be quite dumb. currawong vs crow If in doubt, look at their eyes (adult crows and ravens have white eyes but currawongs have yellow eyes) or listen to their voices (currawongs are more melodious than crows). It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. Favourite answer. [6], Its closest relative is the black currawong (S. fuliginosa) of Tasmania, which has sometimes been considered a subspecies. One of three currawong species in the genus Strepera, it is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian magpie of the family Artamidae. Curranwong Photo Gallery. [9] Ornithologists Charles Sibley and Jon Ahlquist recognised the close relationship between woodswallows and butcherbirds in 1985, and combined them into a Cracticini clade,[10] which became the family Artamidae. [13] They are a dominant species and common inhabitant of Sydney gardens. It has adapted well to European presence, and has become more common in many areas of eastern Australia, with surveys in Nanango, Queensland, Barham, New South Wales, Geelong, Victoria, as well as the Northern Tablelands and South West Slopes regions in New South Wales, all showing an increase in population. Because of its loud, forest-penetrating call and its large size, it is quite conspicuous. [26] It builds a nest of thin sticks lined with grass and bark high in trees in spring; generally eucalypts are chosen and never isolated ones. Pied Currawongs feed on small lizards, insects, berries, and small and young birds. Additional information I want to add here is an unexpected twist in this behaviour. I understand that it is not unusual for adult birds of one species to imitate the feeding demands of another and to get fed. It is a robust crowlike bird averaging around 48 cm (19 in) in length, black or sooty grey-black in plumage with white undertail and wing patches, yellow irises, and a heavy bill. sounds. How can you tell the difference when looking at a magpie and a currawong? It preens its plumage afterwards, sometimes applying mud or soil first. Australian crow and raven species have white eyes and lack the white rump, and the similar-sized Australian magpie has red eyes and prominent black and white plumage. The Australian Magpie also has large areas of white on the body. Currawongs are three species of medium-sized passerine birds belonging to the genus Strepera in the family Artamidae native to Australia. [43] The female broods alone. [44], The channel-billed cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) parasitizes pied currawong nests, laying eggs which are then raised by the unsuspecting foster parents. [2] Pied crow-shrike is an old vernacular name from colonial days,[3] and the term "pied" refers to two or more colors in blotches. takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. One of three currawong species in the genus Strepera, it is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian magpie of the family Artamidae. The population of Pied Currawongs, Strepera graculina, on the east coast of Australia is believed to have increased dramatically with the creation of this favourable habitat by humans.Pied Currawongs are voracious nest predators with a strong negative influence on smaller birds in some areas. The species has also been observed anting. Jan 9, 2020 - Artamidae is a family of passerine birds found in Australia, the Indo-Pacific region, & Southern Asia. Large prey items are stored in what’s called a “larder” (a tree fork or crevice) so prey can be eaten over a period of time. I, too, have observed this behaviour in the back yard, where magpies cleared up a small area of bark so they could lie flat on the ground. Wood, K.A. The onomatopoeic term currawong itself is derived from the bird's call. The Grey Currawong is variable across its range, grey in the east, blacker in Tasmania and browner in the west, with regional differences in the amounts of white in the wing. [26], During the breeding season, pied currawongs will pair up and become territorial, defending both nesting and feeding areas. The Pied Currawong is an omnivorous and opportunistic feeder, eating fruit and berries as well as preying on many invertebrates (i.e., insects), and smaller vertebrates; mostly juvenile birds and bird eggs. The magpie proceeded to forage away from the currawong and then the currawong followed the magpie making begging ("feed me") sounds. Pied Butcher Bird (Cracticus nigrogularis) The Pied Butcher Bird is a black and white bird with clear flute-like song. [26] The species has been reported stealing food from other birds such as the Australian hobby (Falco longipennis),[51] collared sparrowhawk (Accipiter cirrocephalus), and sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita). [31] One 1992 survey reported the total number of pied currawongs in Australia had doubled from three million birds in the 1960s to six million in the early 1990s. When Australians think of foxes though they think of dead bilbies; likewise pied currawongs mean baby fairy-wrens torn from the nest. Pied currawongs have been recorded taking mice, as well as chickens and turkeys from farms. it was in the middle of the road outside my house. The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering The pied currawong (Strepera graculina) is a medium-sized black passerine bird native to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island. Unusual The bill is large and black and the legs are dark grey-black. It is purely Up there as one of my favourite birds, the Pied Currawong is "a large, mostly black bird, with a bright yellow eye. [42], Flocks of birds appear to engage in play; one routine involves a bird perching atop a tall tree, pole or spire, and others swooping, tumbling or diving and attempting to dislodge it. They also have a loud, high-pitched, wolf-like whistle, transcribed as Wheeo. However, they are seen as beneficial in forestry as they consume phasmids, and also in agriculture for eating cocoons of the codling moth. Another Australian species that is sometimes confused with the Pied Currawong is the Australian Magpie, although the two are quite different in plumage. Feeding. What does currawong mean? Another Australian species that is sometimes confused with the Pied Currawong is the Australian Magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen, although the two are quite different in plumage. The pied currawong was first described by English ornithologist George Shaw in 1790 as Coracias strepera, although Strepera was adopted as a generic name. Capricorn Group on the Great Barrier Reef. [47] Beetles and ants are the most common types of insects consumed. Occasionally, I have seen a male magpie, and a Pied Currawong sunning practically next to … [30] It has disappeared from Tryon, North West, Masthead and Heron Islands in the [26] However, evidence for the extent of migration is conflicting, and the species' movements have been little studied to date. kim. They seem to follow the seasonal natural fruits and flowers that grow on top of their favourite gum trees. [8] Although crow-like in appearance and habits, currawongs are only distantly related to true crows, and instead belong to the family Artamidae, together with the closely related Australian magpie and the butcherbirds. [35] Furthermore, a University of New England study published in 2006 reported that the breeding success rates for the eastern yellow robin (Eopsaltria australis) and scarlet robin (Petroica boodang) on the New England Tablelands were improved after nests were protected and currawongs culled, and some yellow robins even re-colonised an area where they had become locally extinct. Their intelligence is most often Another Australian species that is sometimes confused with the Pied Currawong is the Australian Magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen, although the two are quite different in plumage. The 'Currawong problem' is a case of a predator getting out of control. Terry Collins September 9, 2013 - … The Grey Currawong is variable across its range, grey in the east, blacker in Tasmania and browner in the west, with regional differences in the amounts of white in the wing. Click to continue> Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) The Australian Magpie is a common black and white bird. Relevance. Small patches of white are confined to the under tail, the tips and bases of the tail feathers and a small patch towards the tip of each wing (visible in flight). [4] Older birds grow darker until adult plumage is achieved, but juvenile tail markings only change to adult late in development. December 27, 2015 July 22, 2017 Posted in Currawongs Tagged australia, bird, currawong Even though the pied currawongs are a rather large bird, they are very timid and get scared off easily by the magpies, so it’s been hard to get some decent photos or footage of them. Last week I found a young Currawong (I think! Despite their resemblance to crows and ravens, they are only distantly related to the corvid… Pied Currawong – Song & Calls The Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) is a medium-large songbird found in eastern Australia and on Lord Howe Island. [45] The eggs closely resemble those of the currawong hosts. When I was a kid in Canberra my family nurtured injured birds, and once when we had a young magpie-lark the currawongs swooped down from the trees, pulled it through the bars of the cage, and ate it. Early this afternoon I was walking through the carpark between Aranda Primary School and the playing fields. [53], Medium-sized black passerine bird native to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island, "Murni Dhugang Jirrar: Living in the Illawarra", "The phylogeny and classification of Australo-Papuan passerine birds", "Recovery Outline: Pied Currawong (western Victoria)", "The Otway Forester Strepera graculina ashbyi : A neglected and misunderstood subspecies of the Pied Currawong from southern Victoria", "The distribution and abundance of Pied Currawong and Torresian Crow in South-east Queensland", "Pied Currawongs and the decline of native birds", "The Pied Currawong in Urban Canberra: Friend or Foe? The Magpie has a grey and black bill and a red-brown eye. I saw this online and wanted to share that I observed some unusual behaviour as well. [48] The pied currawong consumes fruit, including a wide variety of figs, such as the Moreton Bay (Ficus macrophylla), Port Jackson (F. rubiginosa), Banyan (F. virens) and Strangler fig (F. watkinsiana),[49] as well as lillypillies (Syzygium species), white cedar (Melia azedarach), plum pine (Podocarpus elatus), and geebungs (Persoonia species). Six subspecies are recognised. [4] However, the exact origin of the term is unclear; the most likely antecedent is the word garrawaŋ from the indigenous Jagera language from the Brisbane region, although the Darug word gurawaruŋ from the Sydney basin is a possibility. Six subspecies are recognised. Description: The currawongs are a little larger than the Australian Magpie, somewhat smaller than most ravens, but broadly similar in appearance. There is a steady change to the birds' morphology and size the further south they are encountered, with lighter and more greyish plumage, larger body size, and a shorter bill. [41] The male predominates in threat displays and territorial defence, and guards the female closely as she builds the nest. 1 decade ago. [7] Together with the larger grey currawong (S. versicolor), they form the genus Strepera. [4], Pied currawongs are generally tree-dwelling, hunting and foraging some metres above the ground, and thus able to share territory with the ground-foraging Australian magpie. Currawong, also called piping-crow, or crow-shrike, any of several songbirds of … The male and female are similar in appearance. Smaller Australian Magpie extensively white in upperparts. [29], The species has been implicated in the spread of weeds by consuming and dispersing fruit and seed. Both parents feed the young, although the male does not begin to feed them directly until a few days after birth. Pied Currawongs also don't have any white markings on their back, unlike Magpies or Butcherbirds. In flight, white rump (most subspecies), undertail, tail tip, and primary bases distinctive. [40] Territories have been measured around 0.5–0.7 ha in Sydney and Wollongong, although these were restricted to nesting areas and did not include a larger feeding territory, and 7.9 ha in Canberra. The first photo (above) is of a handsome looking Pied Currawong. The magpie then proceeded to lie down next to the currawong and they just laid there for a while together [29], In general, the pied currawong is sedentary, although some populations from higher altitudes move to areas of lower elevation in winter. Pied currawongs can be bastards, all right. [41] The brown goshawk (Accipiter fasciatus) and lace monitor (Varanus varius) have also been recorded taking nestlings. On the ground, a pied currawong hops or struts. [38] Pied currawongs vigorously drive off threats such as ravens, and engage in bill-snapping, dive-bombing and aerial pursuit. There was some feeding that ensued for about a minute - the magpie feeding the currawong and then both birds flew away in opposite directions. Large, black, crow-sized bird with large black bill and yellow eyes. Swooping magpies are not the only black and white birds Central Coast residents might spot in coming weeks - it's also pied currawong breeding month. (about 2-3 minutes) not doing anything. Other common names include pied chillawong, currawang, charawack, kurrawack, tallawong, tullawong, mutton-bird, Otway forester, and pied afternoon-tea bird. [5] Yungang as well as Kurrawang and Kurrawah are names from the Tharawal people of the Illawarra region. I observed a Magpie and a Currawong together in my garden this afternoon. The habitat includes every kind of forested area, although mature forests are preferred for breeding. [26], The pied currawong is common in both wet and dry sclerophyll forests, rural and semi-urban environments throughout eastern Australia, from Cape York Peninsula to western Victoria and Lord Howe Island, where it occurs as an endemic subspecies. The gape is a prominent yellow. It was being attacked by a dozen or so Myna birds and was on it’s back, just playing dead. In fact their diet is very similar to the Australian Magpie. The black currawong (Strepera fuliginosa), also known locally as the black jay, is a large passerine bird endemic to Tasmania and the nearby islands within the Bass Strait. Lv 6. [46], The pied currawong is an omnivorous and opportunistic feeder, eating fruit and berries as well as preying on many invertebrates, and smaller vertebrates, mostly juvenile birds and bird eggs, although they may take healthy adult birds up to the size of a Crested Pigeon on occasion. [37], Birds forage singly or in pairs in summer, and more often in larger flocks in autumn and winter, during which time they are more likely to loiter around people and urban areas. [27] The endemic Lord Howe Island subspecies has a distinct, more melodious call. [47] They occasionally associate with Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) or common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) when foraging. Adult males average around 320 g (11 oz), females 280 g (10 oz). Magpies are obviously programmed to put food into the open mouths Pied Currawongs love: Singing their distinctive and melodious call. interaction between Pied Currawong and Magpie, Unusual interaction Answer Save. It is a predator which has adapted well to urbanization and can be found in parks and gardens as well as rural woodland. a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It includes 23 extant species in four genera & two subfamilies: ARTAMINAE (woodswallows) & CRACTICINAE (currawongs, butcherbirds,Australian magpie). [48] Birds have also been encountered with grey currawongs (S. versicolor) and satin bowerbirds (Ptilinorhynchus violaceus). Currawongs will hunt in trees, snatching birds and eggs from nests, as well as insects and berries from trees. m("canberrabirds.org.au","canberrabirds-owner");. Currawongs are medium-sized perching birds that are native to Australasia. They live in family groups. Information and translations of currawong in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. Pied currawongs are vocal birds, calling when in flight and at all times of the day. The pied butcherbird is a medium-sized black and white bird with a black hood, dark brown eyes and long, hooked, gray and black bill. Small patches of white are confined to the under tail, the tips and bases of the tail feathers and a small patch towards the tip of each wing (visible in flight). 2 Answers. observed in remarkable and seemingly innovative ways of getting food and in this case it is the Currawong being smart and the Magpie being dumb – unless of course neither are learned behaviour. The magpie proceeded to forage away from the currawong and then the currawong followed the magpie making begging ("feed me") This is an adaptable species common in a variety of habitats including rainforest, wet & dry eucalypt forest, woodland, farmland and urban areas. Pied Currawongs are generally tree dwelling, hunting and foraging some metres above the ground, and thus able to share territory with the ground-foraging Australian Magpie. Aramidae is 1 of 6 families in the Superfamily: MALACONOTOIDEA. They also hunt in the air and on the ground. Southerly populations also show more white plumage in the tail, with less whiteness on the wing. It is possible that Currawongs are programmed to squawk and demand food around magpies at breeding time but I suspect it is learned behaviour. They were also shot on Lord Howe Island for attacking chickens. It has more recently become prevalent in South-East South Australia, in and around Mount Gambier. The Magpie has a grey and black bill and a red-brown eye. [26] The larger grey currawong is readily distinguished by its lighter grey overall plumage and lack of white feathers at the base of the tail. The pied currawong (Strepera graculina) is a medium-sized black passerine bird native to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island. Source: Birds in Backyards Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No Pied Currawong - Strepera graculina The pied currawong is found in Australia and Lord Howe Island. [26] The loud distinctive call has been translated as Kadow-Kadang or Curra-wong, akin to a croak. [4] The wings are long and broad. If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail The immatures are brown and white. [13], The pied currawong is able to cross bodies of water of some size, as it has been recorded from Rodondo Island, which lies 10 km (6.2 mi) off the coast of Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, as well as some offshore islands in Queensland. [34] However, predation by pied currawongs has been a factor in the decline of Gould's petrel at a colony on Cabbage Tree Island, near Port Stephens in New South Wales; currawongs have been reported preying on adult seabirds. Its binomial names were derived from the Latin strepera, meaning "noisy", and graculina for resembling a jackdaw. They are more noisy early in the morning and in the evening before roosting, as well as before rain. between Pied Currawong and Magpie, Fwd: Unusual interaction between Pied Currawong and Magpie. andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU. [52] Pied currawongs will also harass each other. The Pied Currawong is a backyard buddy. Pied currawongs have been known to desert nests once cuckoos have visited, abandoning the existing currawong young, which die,[39] and a channel-billed cuckoo has been recorded decapitating a currawong nestling. [8], Six subspecies are currently recognised, characterised principally by differences in size and plumage. A 1994 study in Sydney's leafy northern suburbs measured an average distance of 250 m (820 ft) between nests,[39] while another in Canberra in 1990 had three pairs in a 400 m (1,300 ft) segment of pine-tree lined street. These are the grey currawong (Strepera versicolor), pied currawong (S. graculina), and black currawong (S. fuliginosa). I turned when I saw the currawong come down and a magpie came down making it's territorial call and the currawong was skwawking back,  The magpie walked over to the currawong, but the currawong didn't retreat, it just sort of reclined backwards and the magpie What is the difference between the two Australian birds? The male and female are similar in appearanc… It is omnivorous, with a diet that includes a wide variety of berries and seeds, invertebrates, bird eggs, juvenile birds and young marsupials. Parks, foraging singly pied currawong vs magpie in Sydney and Canberra since the 1940s and 1960s respectively! Until a few days after birth and aerial pursuit shorter tail and more fluff ) forage in the shadows! [ 36 ] the presence of pied currawongs also do n't have any white markings their! - … pied currawong vs magpie week I found a young currawong ( S. versicolor ), they measure about 30 ×... Vocal birds, calling when in flight and at all times of the threatened.! 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