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A photo of a Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina)
Pied Currawong

Pied Currawong

Strepera graculina

The pied currawong, Strepera graculina, is a medium-sized passerine bird native to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island. It is a robust, crow-like bird with a heavy bill, averaging around 48 cm in length. Its plumage is predominantly black or sooty grey-black, with striking white patches on the undertail and wings, and bright yellow irises. Both sexes are similar in appearance, and the species is known for its melodious calls.

Identification Tips

When identifying the pied currawong, look for its large size, black plumage with white highlights, and heavy bill. The yellow eyes are also a distinctive feature. Juveniles have softer, brownish plumage and a narrower white band on the tail.

Habitat

The pied currawong is found in a variety of forested areas, with a preference for mature forests during breeding. It is well-adapted to urban environments and can be found in parks and gardens.

Distribution

This species is widespread across eastern Australia, from Cape York Peninsula to western Victoria, and is also present on Lord Howe Island as an endemic subspecies. It has expanded its range into South-East South Australia.

Behaviour

Pied currawongs are sedentary birds, although some populations may move to lower altitudes during cooler months. They are omnivorous and opportunistic, foraging in trees for a variety of foods, and are known to be quite bold around humans.

Song & Calls

The pied currawong's calls are a defining characteristic, with a variety of melodious and distinctive sounds, including the well-known "Kadow-Kadang" or "Curra-wong."

Breeding

Breeding occurs in mature forests where nests are built high in trees, typically eucalypts. The species produces clutches of three pinkish-brown eggs with darker splotches.

Similar Species

The pied currawong can be confused with the white-winged chough, Australian crows and ravens, and the Australian magpie. However, its white rump, wing patches, and yellow eyes help distinguish it from these species.

Diet and Feeding

An omnivorous bird, the pied currawong's diet includes berries, seeds, invertebrates, bird eggs, juvenile birds, and young marsupials. It is known to scavenge and can be bold in seeking food from humans.

Conservation Status

The pied currawong is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN, with an increasing population trend and no immediate threats to its large range size.

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