Monday, November 24, 2008

Pied Butcherbird

For great bird photos visit the Bird Photography weekly.

This is a common bird in my backyard. My bird book calls it an "outstanding songster". However, it is because of its habits in catching and killing prey that it gets its name. It will eat insects, lizards, small rodents, and small birds. When the prey is too large to manage it will wedge it in a tree fork or on a thorn and then stand back and tear it apart with its hooked beak.
Thanks Denis for a link to the call of this bird. The link is in mp3 format.

Early morning and feathers all fluffed out.
A few minutes later and feathers all in place.


  1. Thanks for showing us your Pied Butcherbird. I have never seen one before. They look very intereting. The behavior you describe reminds me of a shrike, which also stabs its prey at times in thorny brush.

  2. Interesting comparison, Bernie

  3. Hi Mick
    Bernie's comment is right. Early British ornithologists noted this similarity in behaviour, when they first discovered Butcherbirds in Oz.
    As you have a nice image of the bird calling, did you realise that the Birds in Backyards site has sound files attached to many bird "profiles". So you could provide a link to a page where its call is "playable".
    Only problem is the filing system on the "bird finder" works on first name basis - so Pied Buthcherbird is found under P. Grey Butcherbird is found under G. Crazy system. But it is a useful resource, none-the-less.

  4. I'm grateful to hear that this is a common bird for you, and yet you posted it anyway. It just goes to show that what's common to some, is truly unique to others. Thanks! Cool bird.

  5. Thanks for your comment Sparverious. I still photograph the 'common' ones so I thought why not post them!

    Hi Denis, very interesting facts about the early ornithologists and thanks for the link for the call. I went looking for calls I could link to but missed that one. (The others I did not like - did not recognize the sequence of notes although the tonal quality was right!) I'll edit this post and put in the link. Thank you!

  6. Remind me not to cross that bird's path, lol!

    Thanks for sharing and especially for this birds behavior. Excellent post!

  7. interesting post. loved the call...sounds too musical for a butcher(bird)! :)

  8. Terrific shots! The Pied Butcherbird and the Aus' Magpie are among my favourite bird calls but unfortunately I hear neither of them here. Both were common when I lived in north-west NSW.

  9. Thanks for all for your comments. I am on a dial-up connection right now and its not working too well!

  10. Great photos! Yes, its behavior is like our shrikes but it looks more like a magpie. Its fun to see and hear about your birds!

  11. Thanks for your comment
    Vickie, and its interesting about the similar behavior

  12. A handsome bird with a great song, one of our favourites.