Pied Currawong

Strepera graculina

The Pied Currawong is a medium-sized black passerine bird native to eastern Australia and Lord Howe Island. Known for its melodious calls, the species' name ''currawong'' is believed to be of indigenous origin.
Pied Currawong - With a Snack - Strepera graculina Length : 44-51 cm
Weight : 285 g

The Pied Currawong is a large black and white bird.
Adult male has black plumage overall, except white patches on under tail, on tips and bases of tail feathers, and also small white patch near wing tips (mainly visible in flight).
Head is black. Powerful, long bill is black. Eyes are yellow. Legs and feet are blackish.

https://youtu.be/xdQrtG9aGZE
 Australia,Fall,Geotagged,Pied Currawong,Strepera graculina

Appearance

The Pied Currawong is generally a black bird with white in the wing, undertail coverts, the base of the tail and most visibly, the tip of the tail. It has yellow eyes. Adult birds are 44–50 cm in length, with an average of around 48 cm; the wingspan varies from 56 to 77 cm, averaging around 69 cm.

Adult males average around 320 g, females 280 g. The wings are long and broad. The long and heavy bill is about one and a half times as long as the head and is hooked at the end. Juvenile birds have similar markings to adults but have softer and brownish plumage overall, although the white band on the tail is narrower.

The upperparts are darker brown with scallops and streaks over the head and neck, and the underparts lighter brown. The eyes are dark brown and the bill dark with a yellow tip. The gape is a prominent yellow. Older birds grow darker until adult plumage is achieved, but juvenile tail markings only change to adult late in development.

Birds appear to moult once a year in late summer after breeding. The Pied Currawong can live for over 20 years in the wild.
Pied_Kurrawong Backyard visitor Australia,Geotagged,Pied Currawong,Strepera graculina,Summer

Behavior

Pied Currawongs are generally tree-dwelling, hunting and foraging some metres above the ground, and thus able to share territory with the ground-foraging Australian Magpie. Birds roost in forested areas or large trees at night, disperse to forage in the early morning and return in the late afternoon. Although often solitary or encountered in small groups, the species may form larger flocks of fifty or more birds in autumn and winter. On the ground, a Pied Currawong hops or struts.

During the breeding season, Pied Currawongs will pair up and become territorial, defending both nesting and feeding areas.

Flocks of birds appear to engage in play; one routine involves a bird perching atop a tall tree, pole or spire, and others swooping, tumbling or diving and attempting to dislodge it. A successful challenger is then challenged in its turn by other birds in the flock.

The Pied Currawong bathes by wading into water up to 15 cm deep, squatting down, ducking its head under, and shaking its wings. It preens its plumage afterwards, sometimes applying mud or soil first. The species has also been observed anting.
Pied currawong 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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otZGQTk0Toc Artamidae,Australia,Aves,Geotagged,Passeriformes,Pied Currawong,Spring,Strepera graculina,bird,fauna,new south wales

Habitat

The Pied Currawong is common in both wet and dry sclerophyll forests, rural and semi-urban environments throughout eastern Australia, from Cape York Peninsula to western Victoria and Lord Howe Island, where it occurs as an endemic subspecies.
Pied Currawong - Strepera graculina A young Pied Currawong - Hazelbrook NSW Australia Australia,Blue Mountains,Mountain Magpie,Pied Currawong,Strepera graculina

Reproduction

Although found in many types of woodland, the Pied Currawong prefers to breed in mature forests. It builds a nest of thin sticks lined with grass and bark high in trees in spring; generally eucalypts are chosen and never isolated ones.

It produces a clutch of three eggs; they are a light pinkish-brown colour with splotches of darker pink-brown and lavender. Tapered oval in shape, they measure about 30 × 42 mm. The female broods alone. The incubation period is not well known, due to the difficulty of observing nests, but observations indicate around 30 days from laying to hatching.

Like all passerines, the chicks are born naked, and blind , and remain in the nest for an extended period They quickly grow a layer of ashy-grey down. Both parents feed the young, although the male does not begin to feed them directly until a few days after birth.
Pied Currawong  Australia,Geotagged,Pied Currawong,Spring,Strepera graculina

Food

The Pied Currawong is an omnivorous and opportunistic feeder, eating fruit and berries as well as preying on many invertebrates, and smaller vertebrates, mostly juvenile birds and bird eggs.

Currawongs will hunt in trees, snatching birds and eggs from nests, as well as insects and berries from trees. They also hunt in the air and on the ground. Insects predominate in the diet during summer months, and fruit during the winter.

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderPasseriformes
FamilyCracticidae
GenusStrepera
SpeciesS. graculina
Photographed in
Australia