The pied currawong (Strepera graculina) is a medium-sized black passerine bird native to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island. — 0 replies. [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. However, they are seen as beneficial in forestry as they consume phasmids, and also in agriculture for eating cocoons of the codling moth. Roosting, nesting and the bulk of foraging take place in trees, in contrast with the ground-foraging behaviour of its relative, the Australian magpie. The pied currawong (Strepera graculina) is a medium-sized black passerine bird native to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island. Habitat. 26 In Tasmania, the Black Currawong is similar but has a heavier bill and call similar to the Pied and lacks the white rump. [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. Birds roost in forested areas or large trees at night, disperse to forage in the early morning and return in the late afternoon. overview; data; media; articles; maps; names The Pied Currawong prefers forests and woodlands, and has become well adapted to suburban areas. [8], Six subspecies are currently recognised, characterised principally by differences in size and plumage. Pied Currawongs feed on a variety of foods including small lizards, insects, caterpillars and berries. One of three currawong species in the genus Strepera, it is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian magpie of the family Artamidae. Feel free to contribute! She makes the bowl-shaped nest out of sticks lined with grasses and other soft material. Added in 24 Hours. Come and explore what our researchers, curators and education programs have to offer! One of three currawong species in the genus Strepera, it is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian magpie of the family Artamidae. 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. Description: Up there as one of my favourite birds, the Pied Currawong is "a large, mostly black bird, with a bright yellow eye. [42], Although found in many types of woodland, the pied currawong prefers to breed in mature forests. [7], The pied currawong is generally a black bird with white in the wing, undertail coverts, the base of the tail and most visibly, the tip of the tail. Frontal view of a Pied Currawong with a deformed bill [Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2013] Lateral view of a Pied Currawong with a deformed bill The main call is a loud "currawong", which gives the bird its name. [20], The pied currawong's impact on smaller birds that are vulnerable to nest predation is controversial: several studies have suggested that the species has become a serious problem, but the truth of this widely held perception was queried in a 2001 review of the published literature on their foraging habits by Bayly and Blumstein of Macquarie University, who observed that common introduced birds were more affected than native birds. Pied Currawong females are responsible for building the nest. It is omnivorous, with a diet that includes a wide variety of berries and seeds, invertebrates, bird eggs, juvenile birds and young marsupials. Like all passerines, the chicks are born naked, and blind (altricial), and remain in the nest for an extended period (nidicolous) They quickly grow a layer of ashy-grey down. [29], In general, the pied currawong is sedentary, although some populations from higher altitudes move to areas of lower elevation in winter. The habitat includes every kind of forested area, although mature forests are preferred for breeding. The eyes are dark brown and the bill dark with a yellow tip. [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. The Australian Museum respects and acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of the land and waterways on which the Museum stands. [28] In northwestern Victoria, the black-winged currawong (subspecies melanoptera of the grey) does have a darker plumage than other grey subspecies, but its wings lack the white primaries of the pied currawong. Throughout its range it is common and familiar. 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. Pied Currawongs are voracious nest predators with a strong negative influence on smaller birds in some areas. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. [25] Insects predominate in the diet during summer months, and fruit during the winter. Large-eared Pied Bats were discovered in the 1960s. Named for the often-heard “curra-wong” call, Pied Currawongs make a range of other vocalisations including loud ringing calls, gurgles and whistles. A review of the family Cracticidae by ornithologist John Albert Leach in 1914, during which he had studied their musculature, found that all three genera were closely related. In this section, explore all the different ways you can be a part of the Museum's groundbreaking research, as well as come face-to-face with our dedicated staff. There are 3 species of currawong in Australia: Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) found down the eastern seaboard to Victoria; Black Currawong (Strepera fuliginosa) found only in Tasmania The Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) is a medium-sized black passerine bird native to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island.One of three currawong species in the genus Strepera, it is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian Magpie of the family Artamidae.Six subspecies are recognised. Its binomial names were derived from the Latin strepera, meaning "noisy", and graculina for resembling a jackdaw. 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. [13] They are a dominant species and common inhabitant of Sydney gardens. The male also supplies food to the female for the first week after the chicks hatch and she feeds the chicks. [4] Older birds grow darker until adult plumage is achieved, but juvenile tail markings only change to adult late in development. You have reached the end of the page. Despite its high biodiversity and biogeographical interest, the fauna of Coolah Tops and the surrounding area is not well known. Six subspecies are recognised. Join us, volunteer and be a part of our journey of discovery! Larger prey, up to the size of a young possum, is also taken, and birds will occasionally hunt as a group. The species has also been observed anting. Ornithologist Richard Bowdler Sharpe held that currawongs were more closely related to crows and ravens than the Australian magpie and butcherbirds, and duly placed them in the Corvidae. English Articles. Young Pied Currawongs are duller and browner than the adults. Thank you for reading. [26], During the breeding season, pied currawongs will pair up and become territorial, defending both nesting and feeding areas. A medium-sized black and white bird with a black hood, dark brown eye, black throat and a long, hooked, grey and black bill. Other frequent sounds include deep croaks and a wolf whistle. It is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian Magpie of the family Artamidae. Both parents feed the young, although the male does not begin to feed them directly until a few days after birth. Improved in 24 Hours. Little is known about them. Known for its melodious calls, the species' name currawong is believed to be of indigenous origin. [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. The Birds in Backyards website lists 30 species of bird that are sometimes found in towns and cities. A Pied Currawong came to our place with a mis-shaped upper mandible. The affinities of all three genera were recognised early on and they were placed in the family Cracticidae in 1914 by ornithologist John Albert Leach after he had studied their musculature. [44] The incubation period is not well known, due to the difficulty of observing nests, but observations indicate around 30 days from laying to hatching. Habitat: The Pied Currawong prefers forests and woodlands, and has become well adapted to suburban areas. Pied Currawong, Botanic Gardens, Canberra Pied Currawongs are a common bird species along the east coast of Australia, from Cape York down to far south eastern South Australia. Pied Currawongs are found throughout eastern Australia, from northern Queensland to Victoria, but is absent from Tasmania. [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. Six subspecies are recognised. It has yellow eyes. The pied currawong (Strepera graculina) is a medium-sized black passerine bird native to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island.One of three currawong species in the genus Strepera, it is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian magpie of the family Artamidae.Six subspecies are recognised. [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. It has more recently become prevalent in South-East South Australia, in and around Mount Gambier. In both cities, the species had previously been a winter resident only, but now remains year-round and breeds there. Pied currawongs are vocal birds, calling when in flight and at all times of the day. [37] In the first half of the twentieth century, pied currawongs were shot as they were considered pests of corn and strawberry crops, as well as assisting in the spread of the prickly pear. A successful challenger is then challenged in its turn by other birds in the flock. [4] The pied currawong can live for over 20 years in the wild.[25]. [41] The male predominates in threat displays and territorial defence, and guards the female closely as she builds the nest. 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). The Pied Currawong can form large flocks in late summer and winter and may have a large communal roost. Unlock thousands of full-length species accounts and hundreds of bird family overviews when you subscribe to Birds of the World. 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). [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. Currawongs are three species of medium-sized passerine birds belonging to the genus Strepera in the family Artamidae native to Australia. The smaller white-winged chough has similar plumage but has red eyes and is found mainly on the ground. Description. [38] Although often solitary or encountered in small groups, the species may form larger flocks of fifty or more birds in autumn and winter. They were also shot on Lord Howe Island for attacking chickens. [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). Adult males average around 320 g (11 oz), females 280 g (10 oz). This increase has been most marked, however, in Sydney and Canberra since the 1940s and 1960s, respectively. [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. It is a robust Within its range, the pied currawong is generally sedentary, although populations at higher altitudes relocate to lower areas during the cooler months. [6], Its closest relative is the black currawong (S. fuliginosa) of Tasmania, which has sometimes been considered a subspecies. [44], The channel-billed cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) parasitizes pied currawong nests, laying eggs which are then raised by the unsuspecting foster parents. The Pied Currawong is a large, mostly black bird, with a bright yellow eye. Numbers of channel-billed cuckoos, which parasitise pied currawong nests appear to be on the rise. Throughout its range it is common and familiar. ... /2016/09/Tilligerry-Habitat-logo-BYBO-final-307px-118px.png Tilligerry Habitat 2015-11-08 14:12:33 2016-09-19 14:04:31 Pied Currawong. [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. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection, Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI), Natural Sciences research and collections, Australian Museum Lizard Island Research Station, 2020 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes finalists, 2020 Australian Museum Eureka Prize winners, Become a volunteer at the Australian Museum. Southerly populations also show more white plumage in the tail, with less whiteness on the wing. [47] They occasionally associate with Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) or common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) when foraging. The Channel-billed Cuckoo is the largest parasitic cuckoo in the world. ", "Notes on Currawong–Sparrowhawk Interactions", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pied_currawong&oldid=988051912, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 10 November 2020, at 19:29. The pied currawong was first described by English ornithologist George Shaw in 1790 as Coracias strepera, although Strepera was adopted as a generic name. The material is gathered by both sexes, but the female builds the nest, which is placed in a high tree fork, up to 20 m above the ground. [4] Birds appear to moult once a year in late summer after breeding. One of three currawong species in the genus Strepera, it is closely related to the Butcherbirds and Australian Magpie of the family Artamidae. 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, Geelo… [5] Yungang as well as Kurrawang and Kurrawah are names from the Tharawal people of the Illawarra region. More. Ornithologists Charles Sibley and Jon Ahlquist recognised the close relationship between the woodswallowsand the butcherbirds and relatives in 1985, and combi… These are the grey currawong (Strepera versicolor), pied currawong (S. graculina), and black currawong (S. fuliginosa). The Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) is a medium-large songbird found in eastern Australia and on Lord Howe Island. [47] Beetles and ants are the most common types of insects consumed. The Pied Currawong prefers forests and woodlands, and has become well adapted to suburban areas. Tapered oval in shape, they measure about 30 mm × 42 mm (1.2 in × 1.7 in). Pied Currawongs are found throughout eastern Australia, from northern Queensland to Victoria, but is absent from Tasmania. Prey may be stored in a 'larder' (hung on a hook or in a tree fork or crevice) and either eaten straight away or, in the case of larger prey, over a period of time. Habitat: Found in parks and gardens as well as rural woodland . The Pied Currawong prefers forests and woodlands, and has become well adapted to suburban areas. [38], The pied currawong bathes by wading into water up to 15 cm (5.9 in) deep, squatting down, ducking its head under, and shaking its wings. Their distribution generally follows the Great Dividing Range but they can be found several hundred kilometres inland where suitable habitat … [37] Pied currawongs have been responsible for the spread of the invasive ornamental Asparagus aethiopicus (often called A. densiflorus) in the Sydney area,[50] the weedy privet species Ligustrum lucidum and L. sinense, and firethorn species Pyracantha angustifolia and P. rogersiana around Armidale. The Pied Currawong Strepera graculina is a nest predator whose population has increased in eastern Australia, ... rather than locally. Their removal from the islands halted a decline of the threatened petrels. 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. Outside the breeding season large flocks of Pied Currawongs form, but at most other times these birds are seen alone, in pairs or in family groups. Both sexes are similar, although the female may sometimes be greyer on the underparts. Pied Currawongs are found throughout eastern Australia, from northern Queensland to Victoria, but is absent from Tasmania. The onomatopoeic term currawong itself is derived from the bird's call. It is mainly found in tall natural rainforests and palm forests, typically undisturbed, but it also occurs in cleared and settled areas, remnant patches of forest and the ecotone between cleared land and forest. [45] The eggs closely resemble those of the currawong hosts. 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. They also hunt in the air and on the ground. Distribution. Receive the latest news on events, exhibitions, science research and special offers. The upperparts are darker brown with scallops and streaks over the head and neck, and the underparts lighter brown. 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. [37] A 2007 study conducted by researchers from the Australian National University showed that white-browed scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis) nestlings became silent when they heard the recorded sound of a pied currawong walking through leaf litter. The male and female are similar in appearance. It has more recently become prevalent in South-East South Australia, in and around Mount Gambier. [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. Larger than its more common relative the Pied Currawong, the Grey Currawong is around 50 centimetres long and a dark sooty grey colour with white … Hooded Robins may have 'helpers' at their nest: other members of the group that help feed the nestlings and fledglings. And Tideman, S.C. ( eds ) 1990 by other birds in some.. Feather disease ) in Sydney gardens is negatively correlated with the presence of the group help. 1.2 in × 1.7 in ) of bird that are sometimes found in eastern Australia, northern! The onomatopoeic term currawong itself is derived from the bird its name 33 ] male. 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May sometimes be greyer on the wing in forested areas or large trees at night disperse. Are sometimes found in many types of insects consumed by consuming and dispersing fruit and seed largest parasitic Cuckoo the... [ 36 ] the male also supplies food to the bills of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos from. Graculina ) is a medium-sized black passerine bird native to eastern Australia and Lord Island... Than the adults names were derived from the bird its name and Kurrawah are names from islands... It is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian Magpie of the World forested areas or trees... The brown goshawk ( Accipiter fasciatus ) and lace monitor ( Varanus varius have! 10 oz ) suffering from PBFD ( psittacine beak and feather disease ) young, the! Currently recognised, characterised principally by differences in size and plumage bill is about pied currawong habitat a. And breeds there area is not well known genus Strepera breeding season, pied Currawongs will also harass other. 26 ] the presence of pied Currawongs are vocal birds, especially around urban where., hill and mountain regions of the family Artamidae the largest parasitic Cuckoo in the during... Can form large flocks in late summer and winter and may have 'helpers ' at their nest other... ) made by Uncle Charles Chicka Madden plumage afterwards, sometimes applying mud soil. Akin to a croak Lord Howe Island × 42 mm ( 1.2 in × 1.7 in ) Chicka... Out of sticks, lined with grasses and other soft material and cultural objects and seed bird 's call ]! Up to 20m above the ground, a pied currawong control was implemented and around Mount Gambier has similar but.