Strepera fuliginosa Click to enlarge image
Image: Wb Gibson
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    fuliginosa
    Genus
    Strepera
    Family
    Artamidae
    Order
    Passeriformes
    Class
    Aves
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    47 cm to 49 cm

The Black Currawong was widely eaten in the early days of European settlement in Tasmania and said to be quite tasty.

Identification

The Black Currawong is a medium-sized bird, with a heavy, black bill, black body and white tips to the flight-feathers and tail. It has a bright yellow eye. Immature birds are similar but duller in appearance.

Habitat

The Black Currawong occurs in a range of habitats in Tasmania, including mountain and lowland forests, coastal heath, grazing lands and suburban areas.

Distribution

The Black Currawong is confined to Tasmania and its surrounding islands.



Seasonality

The Black Currawong moves down from mountain areas to the milder lowlands in winter.

Feeding and diet

The Black Currawong is omnivorous, feeding on young birds, carrion, insects and berries. It forages in the trees or on the ground.

Communication

Noisy, musical 'kar-week, week-kar'.

Breeding behaviours

The Black Currawong builds a large, deep nest of sticks lined with roots and grass. Nests are usually found in the forks of trees 3 to 20 m high. The nestlings are fed by both parents.

  • Breeding season: August to December
  • Clutch size: Two to four

Conversation status

The Black Currawong was adversely affected by land clearing for farmland on King Island. It is sometimes considered a pest in orchards.

References

  • Pizzey, G. and Knight, F. 1997. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.
  • Schodde, R. and Tideman, S.C. (eds) 1990. Reader's Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds (2nd Edition). Reader's Digest (Australia) Pty Ltd, Sydney.
  • Simpson, K and Day, N. 1999. Field guide to the birds of Australia, 6th Edition.Penguin Books, Australia.
  • Higgins, P.J., Peter, J.M. and Cowling, S.J. (eds) 2006. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds, Volume 7 (Boatbill to Starlings) Part A. Oxford University Press. Melbourne.