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The Pied Butcherbird is a medium-sized songbird native to Australia. It grows about 35 cm (14 in) long and has black and white plumage. Both sexes have identical plumage, but the male is slightly larger than the female. Young Pied Butcherbirds are generally duller than the adults are. These birds are common in woodland areas and urban environments. They are more often heard than seen, as they sings from a prominent perch... and their songs are varied and beautiful. All Butcherbirds are aggressive feeders. Pied Butcherbirds prey on small reptiles, mammals, frogs and birds, as well as large insects. Most food is caught on the ground. The birds sit on an exposed perch and swoop down on their prey. Hunting groups may consist of several birds from a large group, which may comprise three or four adults and several young birds, but birds may also hunt alone or in pairs. They are also more than willing to accept food from humans.
The Pied Butcherbird is found across much of Australia, except the far south and Tasmania. It is a bird of open woodlands and scrublands, but avoids the most arid environments. It is very common in urban areas. These photos were taken in my local park in Brisbane.
The bird on the sprinkler is a young bird, not yet fully matured, unlike the mature adult shown in the second photo. (Don't worry - the young bird on its side in this photo was playing). If the water sprinklers are on in the park, rest assured the Butcherbirds won't be far off. They love the water, as do most native birds. This photo was taken by my friend Nathan Faldt. He has the patience and ability to crawl around on his hands and knees for hours to get an interesting photo. I also found the video on YouTube of the Butcherbird's song. Worth a listen.
Spotted on Mar 31, 2009
Submitted on May 4, 2013