Pied butcherbird heard at The Entrance, NSW Central Coast

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johnny_lad's picture
Pied butcherbird heard at The Entrance, NSW Central Coast

Although I have often heard - and sometimes seen - the grey butcher bird in NE Sydney and here at the Entrance, about 100km N of Sydney on the Central Coast, I have only once before heard the Pied Butcher bird, and that was in Central Brisbane amongst tall office buildings about 15 years ago. In fact, I thought it was mainly a Queensland bird.  But three days ago, when cycling beside the lake here at the Entrance, I heard the distinctive, clear, piping voice again.  So I come to this website to check out the locality of the bird - and lo and behold, it is found across most of Australia - including NSW.  Well all I can say is it must be fairly rare around the Sydney region, because I have never heard it here before in 34 years of living in this region - and visiting the Blue Mountains, and going on bushwalks in various parks, etc.  Is it a migrating bird?  Was this one just passing through? Is it a result of the exceptionally warm March we have had?

BabyBirdwatcher's picture

Hi johnyy,

I am fairly inexperienced at birding however I know of only two resident pairs of pied butcherbirds in the sydeny reigon both of them being near Richmond and Blue Mountains area. However I also know they are more common around the newcastle area. Propably passing through as they are not recorded at the entrance regularly.

Cheers Babybirdwatcher

timmo's picture

I grew up in Newcastle and don't recall hearing them there.

On moving to Brissie, they are the typical bird sound of Brisbane to my mind.



I've lived on the central coast for 5 years and hear them regularly at home, as well as further north around Lake Macquarie and seen some near Newcastle too. A place I visit regularly near Lake Mac. has quite a few that hang around and their calls echo down the valley, it's just magical. One of my favourite birds that's for sure... so no, I wouldn't consider it unusual to hear/see Pied Butcherbirds around The Entrance :)

Canonguy's picture

Pied Butcherbirds are regular on the Central Coast. They may be slowly creeping into the Sydney basin. We can only hope.

There is a pair at Wisemans Ferry I am aware of and a pair at Castlereagh. I have a record of one adult along Cornwallis Road (Windsor) in about August 2010. Others have been seen around Sydney obviously, but they would be more incidental sightings at this stage.

Woko's picture

What do you think would be the reason for the extension of the Pied Butcherbird's range, Canonguy?

Canonguy's picture

Don't know. Perhaps the same as for the Eastern Ospreys and Brahminy Kites. Populations grow so their distributions naturally spread over a wider area that can provide suitable habitat. Although, if there is a lot of competing species for the same food types then I suppose the strongest will prevail.

with the EO I believe they have made big recoveries in their northern coastline populations so more and more are pushing south.

We are regularly seeing EOs in the Sydney basin with at least two nesting pairs being active. Though the most recent nest failed along the Georges River. I was privileged that Choosypix and her hubby showed that to me last December.

Woko's picture

Interesting thoughts, Canonguy. Maybe it's an indication that habitat is being protected or restored by people who are becoming more aware. Or that more-aware humans are less interfering. Or both. Maybe the phenomenon needs an article in the Sydney Morning Herald to encourage others to do likewise.

Platypus's picture

Living here since 1996, we always had a few Pied Butcherbirds here and there on our property, in Hunter Valley Wine Country.
Love their sing-song that (to me at least) announces Autumn.


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