Once a regular winter visitor to our lowland areas, pied currawongs are increasingly remaining at lower elevation areas throughout the whole year. Assisted by extra food in the form of scraps and the berries of exotic plants, they have become permanent guests in the lowlands. But the converse is also true - pied currawongs are also now a year-round sight at many of our alpine ski resorts. In the winter, when they should be elsewhere, currawongs can be seen hopping about in the snow, scavenging scraps.
These are beautifully vocal birds, calling when in flight and at all times of the day. I hear them mostly early in the morning and in the evening before roosting, as well as interestingly before rain. The loud distinctive call has been translated as 'kadow-kadang' or 'curra-wong'. They also have a loud, high-pitched, wolf-like whistle, transcribed as 'wheeo'.
The pied currawong is an omnivorous and opportunistic feeder, eating fruit and berries as well as preying on many invertebrates, smaller vertebrates, mostly juvenile birds and bird eggs.
50 cm length
The Pied Currawong is a medium-sized black passerine bird native to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island. One of three currawong species in the genus ''Strepera'', it is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian Magpie of the family Artamidae. Known for its melodious calls, the species' name ''currawong'' is believed to be of indigenous origin.