Animal Species:Grey Shrike-thrush, Colluricincla harmonica

Grey Shrike-thrush pairs mate for life and maintain breeding territories of up to 10 hectares.

 

Grey Shrike-Thrush

W. Peckover © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Grey Shrike-thrush

Identification

The Grey Shrike-thrush is a rather drab coloured bird, although the plumage varies throughout its extensive range. Birds are mostly grey in the east, with an olive-grey back, and pale grey-white cheeks and underparts. In the north, the plumage is predominantly brown, and western birds are grey with buff underparts. Adult males are browner on the mantle than the female and young birds have varying amounts of rufous on the cheeks and wings.

 

Size range

22 cm to 25 cm

Distribution

Grey Shrike-thrushes are found in all but the most arid regions of Australia and Tasmania, as well as on the larger offshore islands and in southern New Guinea.

 

Habitat

The Grey Shrike-thrush is found in forests and woodlands. It is a common and familiar bird, although some decrease in numbers has been noted around human habitation, particularly in the west of its range.

 

Feeding and Diet

The Grey Shrike-thrush searches for food on the ground, generally around fallen logs, and on the limbs and trunks of trees. It has a varied diet consisting of insects, spiders, small mammals, frogs and lizards, and birds' eggs and young, and some birds have been observed feeding on carrion. Fruits and seeds may also be eaten on occasion.

 

Communication

The Grey Shrike-thrush has a varied, rich and melodious voice. The call varies throughout its range and between individuals, but typical phrases include 'pip-pip-pip--pip-hoee', 'pur-pur-pur-kwee-yew', and a sharp 'yorrick'.

 

Mating and reproduction

Grey Shrike-thrush pairs generally remain together for life and inhabit the same areas throughout this time. Breeding territories of up to ten hectares are maintained. The nest is a cup-shaped structure of dried vegetation, and may be constructed in the same site year after year. Both birds share the nest-building and incubation duties, and both care for the young birds.

 

Economic/social impacts

Some decrease in Grey Shrike-thrush numbers has been noted around human habitation, particularly in the west of its range.

 

Classification

Species:
harmonica
Genus:
Colluricincla
Family:
Pachycephalidae
Order:
Passeriformes
Class:
Aves

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Ondine Evans , Web Researcher/Editor
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