Animal Species:Pied Butcherbird

Cracticus nigrogularis (Gould, 1837). 

Pied Butcherbird

Pied Butcherbird
Photographer:  © Chris Tate

Standard Common Name

Pied Butcherbird

Identification

  • A medium-sized black and white bird with a black hood, dark brown eye, black throat and a long, hooked, grey and black bill.
  • It has a broad white collar around its neck, a black throat and black legs.
  • The back is mostly black, with large patches of white on the wings and rump.
  • Both sexes have identical plumage, but the male is slightly larger than the female.
  • Juvenile birds are generally duller than the adults with more brown plumage instead of black.

 

Size range

Up to 38 cm.

Distribution

Across Australia.

Habitat

Drier forests and woodlands and often approaches parks and houses.

Feeding and Diet

  • It is an aggressive feeder, preying on small reptiles, mammals, frogs and birds, as well as large insects.
  • Most food is caught on the ground.
  • The birds sit on an exposed perch and swoop down on their prey.
  • Hunting groups may consist of several birds from a large group or may also hunt alone or in pairs.

Mating and reproduction

  • The breeding season varies throughout its large range.; August-December and May-November in tropical areas.
  • Eggs 3-5.
  • The female constructs the nest and incubates the eggs alone, and is fed by the male and other members of the group.
  • The nest is a bowl of sticks and twigs, lined with grasses and other finer material.
  • It is usually built in an upright tree fork up to 5 m above the ground.
  • More than one female may lay eggs in the same nest.
  • Often heard before it is seen, its song is a beautiful, melodious fluting, sometimes given in turn by several individuals.

Classification

Species:
nigrogularis
Genus:
Cracticus
Family:
Artamidae
Order:
Passeriformes
Class:
Aves
Phylum:
Chordata

What does this mean?


Louise Carter , Technical Officer
Melissa Murray , Interpretive Officer
Last Updated: