Pied Currawong

I’m lucky to have another bird call my garden home.

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Pied Currawong, image courtesy of Google

The Pied Currawong is a large, intelligent and mischievous bird that is very common around here. It is one of the members of a group of birds known as the ‘Carollers’ owing to their amazing melodic birdsong. If you search for ‘Pied Currawong’ on you tube, you’ll hear what I mean! (Edit: I find a recording on the net of the Currawong’s Song)

Unlike the Wattlebird and the Bower Bird, who built meticulous, wonderful constructions in my garden, this one has used the Cupressus sempervirens to build a rather messy nest, but true to form, Currawongs always nest high off the ground.

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This messy collection of leaves and twigs is about 7m (21′) off the ground

Incidentally, the Wattlebird had three chicks, all which survived (the nest is now empty, and I see a lot more wattlebirds in the garden than before) and the bower bird was unsuccessful in finding a mate in the allotted time and he abandoned his nest 😦 I’ve left it in place as other males often use left overs from abandoned attempts to build their own bower close by.

Currawongs feast on all sorts of small animals (including other birds): and this one was headed for these little lizards (skinks) trying to warm up on this 10°C/50°F summer morning:

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Lots of Lizards

Those little lizards are one of my best pest controls, eating aphids, baby slugs and other small garden-damaging insects, so I am rather protective of them!

So I got the bird’s attention with some left over Christmas lunch from the fridge and placed the shreds of pork on the top of the fence post that cuts my garden in half:

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Going in to inspect the pile of pork

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Taking the first bite

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Hitting it on the fence post to make sure it’s dead

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It likes it, so takes the whole lot in its beak and flies back to the nest

So the unsuspecting lizards live another day and the Currawong has a stash of meat to take back to its nest to feed her young.

Happy Gardening 🙂

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23 thoughts on “Pied Currawong

    • Yes, we have crows & ravens – both native and introduced. Our native ones have a mournful noise, and the introduced crows have more of a shriek (both of which I don’t mind), but they are certainly not melodic!

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  1. Way to save the little reptiles! Hopefully, they’re too fast for the bird anyways. Better stock up on bacon to keep him slow and sluggish! Let’s do a foreign exchange program so I can check out your local critters and you can check out mine! Enjoy your summer day, and I’ll enjoy my winter day.

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  2. I’ve never seen this bird before, I thought at first it was a magpie relative but they aren’t known for their melodic songs! I love the lizards in my garden for the same reasons, I try to protect them from the neighbourhood cats!

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  3. Love birds in the garden. I have a couple of cats and they leave the birds alone – except for the starlings and I don’t mind that. And the Magpies push the cats away and steal their food. and I don’t mind that either.

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    • They do look like the Australian magpie as well – which can be very aggressive even to humans in mating season, the easiest way I know of to tell them apart is the eye – the currawong has a yellow eye and the magpie red/brown

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  4. There are so many different birds in this world. We have lizards here we call skinks. I wonder if they are the same. I have some photos on my blog. I also love our night lizards, which are geckos from Greece. They clean the ceilings of my porches. Every creature has a place in the world.

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    • I think they are similar ancestry, but the skinks here can cast off (and regrow) their tails, just like your geckos. Sadly, it’s a bit too chilly here for geckos, which is a shame because they are such beneficial animals

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  5. The birds there seem to have so much personality…it’s so much fun reading about them.
    oh wait, lol! The author and photographer of these bird stories probably have a lot to do with that:)

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    • Thanks! But actually, the birdlife here really is amazing. My favourite is the cockatoo. They are just downright naughty, especially when they get into little groups: you see them egging each-other on, just like teenagers

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    • They will eat small mice & other baby animals, and baby birds if there’s no other food. You often see flocks of smaller birds attacking the currawongs – they are not popular amongst the birds!

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    • Absolutely want to save those little guys. As others have said, they are probably too quick for the bird anyway, but on cool mornings while they warm up, you just never know….and lined up next to the deck I’m sure thet’re like a bird’s idea of a buffet 🙂

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