The Pied Currawong Strepera graculina is a spasmodic visitor to Newstead. An altitudinal migrant, it breeds along the Great Dividing Range, migrating to the lower lands of the Goldfields every autumn. I’ve spotted a few birds passing through over recent weeks but over the past few days a small flock has been calling regularly throughout the town – it seems they have been attracted to fruit such as olives and are happy to hang around.
Handsome and intelligent birds they can be quite difficult to photograph as they are wary of people. I suspect grape growers have trouble with them in orchards.
The scientific name has the following origins … strepera is from the Latin streperus, meaning ‘noisy’, while graculina is from graculus meaning ‘unknown bird’ – this appears to be because the species looks like a corvid but is different. I enjoy their rollicking calls at this time of year.