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Grey eminence

October 19, 2016

grey-currawongBirdLife Australia is currently running the Great Aussie Bird Count which has had us out searching for local birds over a chosen 20-minute period the last couple of days. One of our regular visitors, but not yet recorded in the count, is the Grey Currawong. Perhaps because of its rather elegant grey plumage or its more solitary nature, this bird always seems a little more endearing and less threatening than its cousin the Pied Currawong, which we reported on in July.
The Grey Currawong’s slender bill provides it with an efficient tool for winkling out invertebrates from under the bark on tree trunks and branches, so rough-barked trees like the one pictured at right form one of its favourite hunting grounds.

From a distance it’s not always easy to distinguish between the Grey and Pied Currawongs because the shades of their plumage can vary, but in flight the Pied’s white feathers at the base of its tail can be seen – this white is lacking in the Grey. The best distinguishing feature of the Grey is its ringing “cling-cling” call.

Listen to the call, recorded yesterday at dawn, by clicking on the audio bar below.

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