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Magpie-lark

magpie-lark_(2) Magpie-lark_male magpie-lark_(1)
Common name
Magpie-lark
Scientific name
Grallina cyanoleuca
Size – beak to tail
26 – 30 cm
Wing span
Birds of the Bluff
Page 42
Where to find
Most areas, including urban places.
Description

The Magpie-lark is a distinctively marked black and white bird.  The male has a black throat and white eye-brow while the female has a white throat and no eye-brow.  The young birds, for about the first 3 months of their lives, have a white eye-brow and a white throat.

Known as a Peewee or Mudlark in some parts of Australia, the  Magpie-lark has adapted well to living with humans. It can be found in parks and open areas where it forages for worms and insects. The robust nest, made of mud and rootlets, is placed on a sturdy horizontal branch of a gum tree or other tall  tree and is aggressively defended. Mated pairs will often duet, with one bird calling and the other immediately answering antiphonally – the birds  rhythmically opening and raising their wings in time with the song. They feed on insects and their larvae, as well as earthworms and aquatic invertebrates.

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