Pied Butcherbird

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Pied Butcherbird, Cracticus nigrogularis, Size 32-36cm. Black and white bird with a hooked blue/grey bill. The adult has a white body and collar, a black head and hood going well down the breast, and a black tail. Immatures have brownish hoods and a mixture of greyish and buff/white body feathers. Call is a beautiful flute-like whistling.

Feeding habits

Feeds mainly on insects, lizards, mice and small birds. It will store food wedged in the fork of a tree or impaled on a broken branch.


May-November. The nest is usually in a vertical tree fork and is an untidy arrangement of twigs and sticks, lined with dried grasses. Two-to-five eggs are laid and then incubated by the female. Immature birds remain with the family group until fully mature.

Places to Look

Often found in pairs or small family groups in open woodlands, gardens, semi-arid scrub and tree-lined watercourses.


Illegal shooting and poisoning.


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.

Pied Butcherbird © Birdlife Townsville 2008

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