Saturday, Sep 20, 2014

Butcherbirds


Grey ButcherbirdButcherbirds are magpie-like songbirds that are native to Australasia. They were named for the way they store their prey -- hanging captured animals on a thorn, tree fork or crevice to support them while they are being eaten, or to store them for later consumption.


Distribution / Range

Butcherbirds occur throughout Australia, where they have adapted well to urbanization and can be found in leafy suburbs throughout


Description

Butcherbirds are mid-sized birds, measuring up to 35cm in length.

The color of their plumage ranges from black-and-white to mostly black, with possibly grey plumage, depending on the species.

The bill is large, straight with a distinctive hook.


Breeding / Nesting

The average clutch consists of one or two eggs in a clutch. The chicks are often seen trailing behind the mother and "squeak" incessantly begging to be fed.


Diet / Feeding

Butcherbirds mostly feed on insects, but will also take small lizards and other prey. They will also accept scraps, such as mealworms or bread.


Species

  • Black Butcherbird, Cracticus quoyi
  • Grey Butcherbird, Cracticus torquatus
    • Silver-Backed Butcherbird Cracticus argenteus (alternately a subspecies of C. torquatus)
  • Hooded Butcherbird, Cracticus cassicus
  • Tagula Butcherbird, Cracticus louisiadensis
  • Black-backed Butcherbird, Cracticus mentalis
  • Pied Butcherbird, Cracticus nigrogularis

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