Sunday, May 06, 2007

Pied Butcherbird

The Butcherbird is a mid-sized, magpie-like bird that is native to Australasia. This one dropped by our back deck for a bit of a look. It is a Pied Butcherbird. All images can be clicked on to enlarge.

Butcherbirds apparently get their name from their habit of hanging captured prey on a thorn, tree fork, or crevice. This "larder" is used to support the victim while it is being eaten, to store prey for later consumption, or to attract mates.

Butcherbirds are mainly insect eaters. They will also feed on small lizards and other meat. They are also fairly fearless. I've had some wild butcherbirds visit our back deck and take small pieces of meat directly from my hand.

Butcherbirds have a beautiful, warbling song. Unfortunately on this occasion we didn't hear it as the butcherbird didn't hang around for long. Maybe it was because one of our cats was hungrily eyeing him off.

No comments: