Wednesday 19 July 2017


The Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus) is a widely distributed species endemic to Australia. The grey butcherbird occurs in a range of different habitats including arid, semi-arid and temperate zones. The grey butcherbird is found across southern Australia, but is absent from the deserts of central Australia and the monsoon tropics of northern Australia.

It has a characteristic "rollicking" birdsong. It appears to be adapting well to city living, and can be encountered in the suburbs of many Australian cities including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The grey butcherbird preys on small vertebrates including other birds. Other birds in the same family include the Australian magpie, the currawongs, woodswallows and other members of the butcherbird genus Cracticus.

The grey butcherbird is a small grey, black and white bird with a weight of 90 grams, a body length between 27-30cm and a wing span expanding 37-43cm. The grey butcherbird is smaller than the Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis). The adult grey butcherbird has a black head, top and sides; and a white chin and throat through to the lower hindneck. The upper body is mostly dark grey with streaks of narrow white bands that extends across the uppertail-coverts at the base of the tail. The uppertail is black with narrow white tips. The wings are grey with large areas of white and the underside of the wing is also white. The tip of the beak has a slight downwards hook. Both the male and female grey butcherbirds are similar in appearance, but the female is slightly smaller in size.

The grey butcherbird usually breed in single territorial pairs from July to January. Both sexes defend their territories and nest throughout the year. The female incubates the eggs, while the nestlings and fledglings are fed by both parents. The nest is a shallow, bowl-shaped made from sticks and twigs. The nest is lined with grasses and other soft fibres. Nests are normally located within 10m of the ground.

This post is part of the ABC Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.


  1. Oh my...a Bird I did not know jet.... the dutch name for it is not easy to pronounce for non-duth ... thank you for the introductionn of a new bird to me

    Have a wonderful ABC-day / -week
    Melody (team ABC-W)

  2. Interesting bird. We have a Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor)here also called "Butcherbird" for it's habit of impaling prey on sharp objects to come back later to feed on. Interesting

  3. Never heard of this kind of bird...learn something new every day! *smile*

    abcw team

  4. Didn't know there was more than one species. Lovely photo.

  5. A "rollicking" birdsong caught my attention. I'm listening to a Youtube clip of a butcherbird imitating a bunch of birds, one after the other. So cool!
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

  6. I've never heard of it - but with your post I know a lot! Thanks for sharing.

  7. thank you for the introductionn of a new bird to me



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