Mimicry by Butcherbirds

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Leaanne
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Mimicry by Butcherbirds

A local butcherbird visits my back deck to steal the cat biscuits. While he sits on the railing warbling, I noticed that some of his song sounded like magpies calling and another was a little like the white cockatoos squawk. Has anyone else recorded/observed this from butcherbirds?

Araminta
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Hi Leaanne,that wouldn't surprise me,(hope I'm not wrong, as I often am!),because they belong to the same family, the Artamidae. But you better wait for the experts to answer.... couldn't help myself, had to have a go!

M-L

Araminta
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Correction, Cockatoos do not belong to the same family, I think! Only Butcherbirds and Magpies are Artamidae.

M-L

birdie
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I have definitely heard BB sounding the same as Maggies... they do a little chortle adn start talking to themselves sometimes. Was it a Pied or a grey?

Sunshine Coast Queensland

Leaanne
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I'm pretty confident this is a Grey, not Pied. I'll try to have my camera handy next time he drops by for a chat.

Windhover
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Grey Butcherbird and the Australian Magpie are now the same genus according to the Christides & Boles 2008 revision of Australian birds. The genus is Cracticus with the Grey Butcherbird being C torquatus and the Aus. Magpie C. tibicen.

Woko
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I once heard in the Warrumbungles a Pied Butcherbird calling the theme tune from Strange Encounters of the Third Kind (or whatever the movie was called). Whether it was mimicry or a coincidence I'm not sure.

ozplant

My neighbor has a warning beeper on their access road into their property, it sounds quite loudly outside the house. Recently they have observed a pied Butcher Bird who regularly waits in a tree out in front of the house for a tidbit, or to steal a dog biscuit, has started to mimic the beeper.

oconnore51
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I have heard them mimic the sound of a fire alarm so perfectly that I really believed that that was what it was.

elizabeth

nimbsy
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I’ve just observed today a mature male grey Butcherbird mimicking several birds, birds mimicked were

kookaburra, red wattlebird, king parrot, crimson rosella, Indian myna, currawong, blackbird, rainbow Lorikeet & noisy miner....it was soft and subtle but beautifully mimicked 

nimbsy
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Link to Video of this Butcherbird mimicking here: https://youtu.be/qAc2T17Mk80

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