Awake awake!

We don’t see the Grey Currawong Strepera versicolor in town that often. While resident in the surrounding box-ironbark forest they are not really ‘townies’, unlike the migratory Pied Currawong that visits in small numbers during the colder months. The two  species are very similar – the Grey Currawong is ash-grey rather than black, and lacks the distinctive white patch at the base of the upper tail. Both have white wing panels but these are less obvious in the Grey Currawong when the wings are folded at rest.

This morning I was awoken by the calls of a Grey Currawong which kindly stayed around for a few photographs. The typical ringing ‘chling chling’ call was interspersed with some more melodic conversational notes as it searched for insects in the Yellow Gums behind the house.

GC1

Grey Currawong in flight, Newstead, 2nd August 2015.

GC2

Uttering that characteristic ringing call.

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Both Grey and Pied Currawongs have white under tail coverts.

GC5

Foraging for insects under bark and in the canopy is the Grey Currawong’s game.

GC3

A small grub is discernible in the currawong’s bill.

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The white wing panels are obvious in this silhouette.

3 responses to “Awake awake!

  1. Just this morning, a posting about currawongs : hope you’ll enjoy Geoff Park’s photos and commentary. He’s a national treasure, or so it seems to me. V xx

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  2. Interesting timing Geoff. Here in Tylden (3444 just south of Kyneton) I’m surprised by how many Grey Currawongs are in ‘town’ this year – some in groups of as many as 5 – behaving a little like the more abundant Pied Currawongs. Although there are nearly always 2-3 Greys on the fringes of Tylden, I’ve not previously seen so many about in Winter (or at any other time). Every time I think I have the occurrence patterns of local birds sorted, this kind of thing happens. 😉

    • Yes Laurie I agree – best not to believe that we’ve got the natural patterns worked out entirely. Pied Currawongs are not at all common in Newstead – there is a peak in late autumn as they move through while Grey Currawongs are in small numbers in the bush.
      Cheers, geoff

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