3 birds

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oaks17's picture
3 birds

I had a great morning Birding down on Sandfly Creek in Mackay.

Could this be a Black Currawong? It was real skinny with a long tail. There are tons of crows and ravens around here in Mackay, but this bird looked different. My book says that the BC lives in NZ. There was no white on it so it isn't Pied.

I don't know what this is. Your first thought is Magpie, Magpie Lark, but I'm sure it's not one of those. The belly is different and it was bigger than the Lark variety.

Is this one an olive backed oriole? It had a orange beak. It has the same belly as a figbird, but not the patch around its eye. I see a lot of figbirds

thanks a lot for the help.

oaks17's picture

That first one is probably a Black Butcher bird.

Wanda's picture

Hi Oaks, I think your second photo is a young magpie.

Owen1's picture

Hey oaks. The second photos of the second bird looks like a male white-winged triller to me.
The third one looks like a female or immature Figbird.

Cheers, Owen.

oaks17's picture

It's not a triller. The belly is fluffy white with black spots. My pic is bad, per usual. This is a pretty big bird. I'm guessing that the immature magpie might be right. I just don't know when the breeding takes place here.

Andy's picture

I agree with Wanda that the two magpie-like birds are definitely young magpies.

And like Owen, I'm thinking that the last bird is a female figbird. I think of orioles as being a bit thinner, but female figbirds and orioles do have a similar look if you're not very close to them or if you don't get a great view. But I'm still thinking that yours is a female figbird.

Taking photos and then id'ing birds is a lot of fun; I hope you're enjoying the process.

Raven's picture

Hello Oaks17, the first bird on your list took my eye, as I am a crow/raven fan, looks very much like a "Rook" (Corvus frugilegus)length of around 46cm which habitat farmlands, open woodland, meadows, suburbia and urban areas.

I have seen these birds in north eastern Pakistan (very abundant), they can become quiet tame and is probably the most social member of the crow family.

Distribution is most of Europe, the Middle East, and central and eastern Asia. They were also introduced to New Zealand.

Maybe it caught a lift across the Tasman, or was smuggled into Australia from Asia and has escaped. Raven (Sydney NSW)

Ninox's picture

I'm going to disagree with you Raven. I think the top photo is a Balck Butcherbird. According to my S&D feild guide, Balck Butcherbirds are found along the coast of the Cape York Peninsula, along the QLD coast not quite down to Rockhampton and also along most of the coast of NT. So oaks17, you're in the right area for them.



I would tend to agree with Ninox on this one, the chances of a rook there would be very slim and from what I have seen of rooks (only images, I'm not as far traveled as you obviously are Raven) they have a distinctive shaped head with the "pointy" top rather then a flat head as shown in the picture thus directing more towards a black butcherbird which also has the right distribution and characteristics.
The 2nd photo is very confusing, I have never seen a magpie (not even a juv.) with such a white belly/chest/neck. My guess would be perhaps a black-backed butcherbird but to be honest it could still be a magpie or triller.
In regards to the last photo my first thought was female or juvenile figbird but judging from the photo it looks like a red beak which would lead me more towards a young Olive-Backed Oriole rather then a figbird. Not sure on this one.

Raven's picture

Ninox and Amateur, you both may be correct, I cannot see in the picture as to whether the head is flat or domed, also the eye appears to be silver, Rooks have a black/dark eye. Rooks have a distinct domed head, also it's hard to guage the size of the bird in the pic too. The picture of a Black Butcherbird I have here shows a black and white beak too, not fully white.

Maybe a Black Currawong brought up from Tassie? Size and beak match also eye colour closer than the Rook. Probably is a Black Butcherbird, outdoor pic would have been the clincher to expose more detail...Raven (Sydney NSW)

ed's picture

Blackbutcher Bird for sure,the chances of it being a Rook are close to zero, young Magpies and a Figbird for my money.

Ed Townsville NQ


Absolutely right Ed !!!!!

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