Tis a curious bird the currawong

Pied Currawongs are clever and curious birds.

This one was photographed this morning at the bird bath. Initially I was puzzled as to why it would be attempting to pierce the ice-crust that had formed overnight (it was ‘feels like’ minus 5C).

Then I noticed the shape on the surface of the ice – a currawong pellet, regurgitated by a previous visitor I would assume.

Pied Currawongs are omnivores, feeding on seeds, fruits, insects and small vertebrates when they can get them. In the town gardens over winter there is a wide variety of suitable tucker. The pellets are ejected a short time after feeding, often within 30 minutes or so and contain the hard remains of the recent meal. Beetle wing-cases and sometimes small bones can be found mixed in with plant material.

You may have noticed and wondered about these objects appearing in the garden at this time of year.

PC1

Pied Currawong @ the bird bath, 5th June 2021

PC2

II

PC3

Pied Currawong pellet

PC4

II

7 responses to “Tis a curious bird the currawong

  1. Amazing! Thanks for that pearl of wisdom! Last night I read a post and saw a video of an owl regurgitating a huge plug. Fascinating.

  2. Oh wow thank you Geoff for that very interesting info. They are some of my favourite birds as we had a family who visited our Stirling, Adelaide Hills home in the bush regularly and would bend down and peer into the kitchen family room as if to say ‘we want some treats please’. We called our property Currawong because of them.

  3. Love your keen eye Geoff. In the Warrumbungles the pied currawongs are constant companions and they are gradually teaching me currawong language. They are smart birds and in season bring kurrajong seeds to soak and then sprout in my birdbath. Once they have sprouted they are consumed. I think they may be too hard to digest without sprouting.

    • Hi Simon – what a fascinating story! Further evidence of how intelligent birds are, especially the currawongs! Cheers, geoff

  4. Please, more description.. I’m fascinated! Usually I yell at currawongs, because they’re such ace predators, but am always interested to learn!

    On Sat, 5 Jun 2021 at 12:02 pm, Natural Newstead wrote:

    > Geoff Park posted: “Pied Currawongs are clever and curious birds. This one > was photographed this morning at the bird bath. Initially I was puzzled as > to why it would be attempting to pierce the ice-crust that had formed > overnight (it was ‘feels like’ minus 5C). Then I noti” >

  5. John Carruthers

    Amazing. Thank you @Geoff 🙂

  6. Heather Gilbert

    Fascinating little story. I am not a fan of the Pied Currawongs. Our little family of eight Magpies and two Little Ravens are a tight knit community, and although we have frequent visits from the Kookaburras, which are very polite, the equilibrium isn’t upset, unless the Currawongs attempt to intrude. They will sit in the River Red Gums and try to intimidate the other birds into leaving their breakfast. They are outnumbered by the local birds, so they don’t attack. If they did, it would seem a bit like the Battle of Britain.

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