crows ravens currawongs

Sydney’s pied currawong

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The currawongs are amoung my favourite birds, this yellow eyed beauty was enjoying his perch in a she-oak whose branches overlooked one of the numerous small bays that fringe Sydney Harbour, one of the most spectacular harbours in the world.

The view from the currawong's tree includes a distant view of the city of Sydney.
The view from the currawong’s tree includes a distant view of the city of Sydney.

The Pied Currawong is a common nomad in Australia’s east. They breed in isolation but will join flocks of up to 100 in winter, though I have never seen such a sight. To see them en masse sounds a bit too much like being inside Hitchcock’s movie the Birds! The currawongs have a strong, loud gong-like call that I find melodious, interspersed with whistling ‘oo-oooooo’.

bird

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P1120229Spied this lovely Pied Currawong in my mother’s Sydney garden. I love these large black birds with their majestic stance and piercing eye. This one is a good 50 cm and far from darting away when it spied me, it returned a steady gaze.

 

pied currawong

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This majestic Pied Currawong is 50 cm with white in wing, rump, under-tail coverts, base and tip of tail. Often seen in flocks it breeds in isolation, nesting in a large flat cup of sticks lined with soft material and laying 3 blotched brown eggs. With that piercing yellow eye and large hooked beak he could be mistaken as the daytime incarnation of the wicked witch of the west.

Acknowledgement: The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds

the Australian Raven

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The Australian Raven is a large bird (52 cm) with glossy black feathers, a fierce beak and a piercing eye and they make a high-pitched wailing sound that I actually find quite melodious and pleasant. They are quite territorial and will defend their patch from ravens.

pied currawong

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Another capture of the Pied Currawong showing the white band of feathers around the top of its tail and the patterned underside.