If you live in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, the sound of the Pied Currawongs is a feature of the cooler seasons. They have wonderful melodic calls, including the famed ‘jabawok!’ ‘jabawok!’ uttering. It was hearing this sound, that drew me from the computer out into the garden, earlier this week. Two Pied Currawongs could be seen prising bark from the branches of one our lovely elms in search of large insects. As the photograph below demonstrates, they had some success.
Pied Currawongs are winter visitors to Newstead. Small numbers arrive each year, down from their breeding grounds at higher altitudes along the divide. Unlike the Grey Currawong, which is resident in the local forests, Pied Currawongs are quite at home in urban environments. Larger numbers can be found in and around Castlemaine. I suspect there is some learning behaviour happening, as town gardens provide a rich bounty of food at this time of year, and the Pied Currawong is a very smart bird!