Pied Currawong

Common name
Pied Currawong
Scientific name
Strepera graculina
Size – beak to tail
42 – 50 cm
Wing span
Birds of the Bluff
Page 40
Where to find
Wet forests in mountain areas, urban parks and gardens.
At a casual glance the Pied Currawong may sometimes be mistaken for a raven, though the complete lack of glossy iridescence on the plumage, the yellow iris and the white patches in the plumage, along with the loud ringing call, help to identify the currawong   ̶   a black bird with a robust beak and white patches in the wings, undertail, tail tip and rump. These white patches vary in extent to the point where they may be absent from the rump in some individuals. Traditionally this species only visited lowland areas in winter but now they may remain in lowland areas, throughout the year, due to the increase in fruiting plants in urban gardens and the proliferation of food scraps.

The loud, ringing call of “currawong, currawong’ is often heard in the evening as groups of birds return to roost. Numbers are increasing. A group of currawongs may attack together to rob nestlings of other species, during the breeding season. This may lead to a decrease in the population of some smaller birds. Generally this species breeds in uplands, in spring and summer, before migrating to lowlands in autumn and winter. In more recent years there has been a trend for them to stay in more open habitats at low altitude, such as urban parks and suburbs, to breed. They eat small lizards, insects, caterpillars, fruits and berries, as well as small and young birds.