Grey Currawong

The Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor) is a large passerine bird native to southern Australia and Tasmania. One of three currawong species in the genus Strepera, it is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian Magpie of the family Artamidae. It is a large crow-like bird, around 48 cm (19 in) long on average, with yellow irises, and a heavy bill, and dark plumage with white undertail and wing patches. The male and female are similar in appearance. Six subspecies are recognised and are distinguished by overall plumage colour, which ranges from slate-grey for the nominate from New South Wales and eastern Victoria and subspecies plumbea from Western Australia, to sooty black for the Clinking Currawong of Tasmania and subspecies halmaturina from Kangaroo Island. All Grey Currawongs have a loud distinctive ringing or clinking call.

Within its range, the Grey Currawong is generally sedentary, although it is a winter visitor in the southeastern corner of Australia. Comparatively little studied, much of its behaviour and habits is poorly known. Omnivorous, it has a diet that includes a variety of berries, invertebrates, and small vertebrates. Less arboreal than the Pied Currawong, the Grey Currawong spends more time foraging on the ground. It builds nests high in trees, which has limited the study of its breeding habits. Unlike its more common relative, it has adapted poorly to human impact and has declined in much of its range. The habitat includes all kinds of forested areas as well as scrubland in dryer parts of the country.

Read more about Grey CurrawongTaxonomy and Naming, Description, Distribution and Habitat, Behaviour

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