Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 83 - Pied Currawong

Today, I join the fine tradition of posting images of birds I have taken through windows!  What I find remarkable about this is that the 3 images of the young birds on the bird bath were also taken through a fly-screen.  It just goes to show how, if you can throw objects in the foreground out of focus enough they seem to disappear.

The birds on the bird bath are juvenile Pied Currawongs - Strepera graculina - a bird that is found along all of the east coast of Australia, but does not occur in Tasmania.  Although these birds look "crowish" they are more closely related to the Australian Magpie and Butcherbirds that true crows.

They have a remarkable voice - you can hear a little of there voice by clicking the player near the bottom of the right hand side of this link.

Currawong is probably a corruption of an onomatopoeic Aboriginal name (thats a hell of a sentence!) - but its scientific name means "Jackdaw-like noisy bird" - which is surly correct on the noisy part, but  a little way of the mark on the Jackdaw bit!

In flight I always think these birds look long and thin, and they have long wings that seem to have a slight pause, giving the bird a gliding sort of flight.  For a long time this was a bird I associated with autumn, as they would be calling from the trees around the school I used to work at as I arrived in autumn mornings - not hearing them as often as I once did is one of a very short list of things I miss about that job!

The part of the beak where it hinges is called the "gape flange" and in many young birds it is brightly coloured - you can see this is the bird batch images.  This may act as both a marker of the health of the bird and as feeding stimulus for the adults.




This is the adult bird in pretty much all its glory.  You can see the small hook on the beak which is a bit of a give away about its rather predatory diet.  These birds often eat the chicks and eggs of other birds - and can do a bit of damage to songbird nests.  But a birds got to eat!


Now it's over to you.  Click the link and off you go.  SM


51 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

what a remarkable bill! going back to listen to them, now.

TexWisGirl said...

well, two of my dogs jumped up to see who was calling for them. :)

HOOTIN ANNI said...

A beautiful bird...one I can't even pronounce by the way!!!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

...their call is very tropical sounding.

Chris Rohrer said...

They remind me of Great-tailed Grackles mixed with the colors of the Rusty Blackbird.

Montanagirl said...

Excellent set of photos!

Montanagirl said...

P.S. I went back and listened to them as well. In one spot it almost sounds like part of a turkey's gobble. Very interesting.

Andrea said...

I can see the wild eyed resemblance of the Magpie and I think they are awesome ... I love the Magpies too, which is probably because I have to go to Colorado to see them. Interesting information about the mouth ... I always thought it made it easier for Mom or Dad to find the target. I think all birds have that feature as youngsters except maybe water birds that start eating on their own as soon as Mom shows them what to eat. Very interesting post and I agree their song is pretty ... too bad they didn't include the wolf wistle. The Grackle has a wolf wistle which I get from them all the time (because I am so attractive :) ... at least to the birds since I feed them LOL.) Have a great week, Stewart.

Andrea @ From The Sol

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Through the window, very wonderful and very sharp and what a great looking bird they are too.
Most of my Winter close up images are all taken through glass, just too COLD to trek outside. Hoping your heat has cooled down a bit now~

Carletta said...

I take most of my bird shots through the window and not always successfully. Yours are wonderfully captured! I especially like the way the eye stands out.
As always Stewart, thanks for hosting!

Liz said...

Beautiful images, Stewart! I've often heard Currawongs calling but never been able to photograph any.

Thanks for sharing your lovely images!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Stewart I love how you're always introducing us to new creatures!!

Gail Dixon said...

What an interesting bird. You have such variety in your part of the world. Great set of shots.

R. Mac Wheeler said...

cool birds

Sylvia K said...

You do indeed have such an interesting variety of birds in your part of the world, Stewart!! Handsome fellow this one! Terrific captures as always!! Thanks for sharing!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Beautiful shots of the beautiful birds.

Nora at Island Rambles said...

They remind me of our crows. Quite a beak. I am not as good at getting the shots through the glass or the screen. Great shots. cheers.

cobie en bas van Es said...

ze hebben het goed naar hun zin in je mooie tuin.

HansHB said...

A lovely serie. Nice to study the details!

Ela said...

Wonderful collection of the birds
Greetings

Gordon said...

As always Stewart a very interesting post,I have to say the young ones do have a look of the Crow family to the uninitiated (like my self).And a good job you hadn't been on the old Double Diamond before you posted.
All the best Gordon.

Findlay Wilde said...

They do look really Magpie-y. I really think we should all meet up when you come back to England this year. From Findlay

DesertHen said...

You have such fascinating birds down under! Those beaks are amazing! Nice photos!

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Stewart All great shots. I have never seen young of this bird so that was lovely to see.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I love its name! And it's call. Don't love their habits, but as you say (more succinctly) it's the balance of nature at work.

Carole M. said...

lovely shots Stewart; it's good to experiment when there's no other option. Through glass, through screen, they often come up trumps enough. I especially love that finale photo

eileeninmd said...

Stewart, the do resemble the crow. I really like the adult. And the bill is something like a shrike. Great photos, I could not tell there was a screen at all. Thanks for hosting, have a happy week ahead!

Stuart Price said...

Currawongs: weird small pseudo crows!

Brian King said...

What a regal looking bird! I love the big beak and those yellow eyes!

thewovenspoke said...

Great shots, I do see the resemblance to magpies.

thewovenspoke said...

Great shots, I do see the resemblance to magpies.

Pallavi said...

They do bear a strong resemblance to the crows. The pictures are beautiful and I love how the background blurs in a purple haze.

Karen said...

Great shots. The last photo is stunning, magazine quality.

mick said...

Great photos Stewart - that's a bird we don't often see down here at the coast.

raf said...

Yes, see the magpie in there. What screen door? Remarkable. A handsome figure in that last image!

Judith Gray said...

although we see currawongs often, I don't think I have ever seen a juvenile one. These photos are beautiful especially with the pretty flowers in the background garden.

pattisjarrett said...

Nice shots through the window--and screen! That beak does look like it was meant for business.

Jo said...

These birds look like a cross between our Red-winged Starling and the House Crow. Great post as usual, Stewart. Greetings, Jo (Now South Africa - tomorrow East Africa!)

Breathtaking said...

Hello Stewart!:) Thank you for your visit, and invite. I really like these great shots of the Pied Currawong.It's such an interesting bird. I'm not sure how to post one of mine, but will do so when I figure out how.:=)
Cheers!


Kerri Farley said...

Wow Stewart....these birds are lovely!! reminds me a bit of our Grackle :)

Adam Jones said...

Does look a little like our Jackdaw. Nice shots Stewart.

Adam Jones said...

Does look a little like our Jackdaw. Nice shots Stewart.

maryaustria said...

Wonderful photos! My favorite is the last one!

babsjeheron said...

Fascinating birds and great photos through your window/screens, Stewart.

One thing I really appreciate about your photos is the absence of snow in your garden! :-)

Connie Smiley said...

What a beauty, Stewart! I love that last image. You string together some very good sentences, but you're right, that one is a doozy!

Jen said...

I'm jealous that I can't even see such birds through my windows, much less get photos. I have a view of the power plant.

As usual, very interesting birds. Thanks for hosting.

edenhills said...

Wonderful shots through the window! Those are just amazing birds.

Wally Jones said...

Wonderful photographs, Stewart, especially when one knows the details of how you made them!

I see how it's related to the Magpie. Great link to its call!

Like the new format for linking to WBW! Thanks again for continuing to host the world's birding community!

CountryMouse said...

Great photos, what sharp eyes it has and a sharp beak as well.
I was running behind this week (suprise, suprise) but here is a link to my Wild Birds ... http://gritandgiggles.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/snowy-white-breasts-and-sulphur-crests.html

Nathalie Santa Maria said...

Quelle belle série !
Ces oiseaux sont superbe !

Breathtaking said...

Thank you for getting back to me about how to link to WBW. Since then have had flu, but will be linking up today.
Cheers.