Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 134 - Black Currawong

Currawongs are some of my favourite birds - they are smart, active, vocal birds.  Although they look a lots like crows, they are in fact more closely related to Butcherbirds.

This species is the Black Currawong - and it only occurs in Tasmania.  It goes by the name of Strepera fuliginosa which means 'sooty noisy bird' which is as good a description as I could give it.  At about 47 -49 cm long these are impressive birds to see close at hand.

(For those of you with an eye for detail, you will notice that this is the second bird this year with a specific name of fuliginosa - last week's Sotty Oystercatcher having the same specific name).

I am sure these birds were used to receiving handouts from tourists as they would often sit on the window ledges of our cabin and stare inside, skewering us with those intense yellow eyes!

One of these birds has a deformed beak, and I think that you can tell that his (her?) plumage looks a little less well cared for that the first bird.  Maybe that 'extension' prevents it from preening properly.

If you have a look at the second picture of the bird with the 'extra beak' I think you can see that the lower mandible is damaged - this web site by the BTO suggests this may be the cause of the strange growth of the upper one.











Now it's your turn - click the blue button below and off you go!

48 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

sharp-eyed and handsome with a huge beak - even without the abnormality.

Carletta said...

These are some wonderful close up shots Stewart! You have to wonder about that beak. We all have a blemish or two. :)

EG CameraGirl said...

Excellent photos. Yep, that beak extension is probably are big problem!

Sylvia K said...

Love your close-up shots for the day, Stewart!! I would think his beak would create an eating problem, but some of us could use a problem like that if it resulted in our eating less!!

Chris Rohrer said...

That last bird with the strange bill is weird.....like our Curve-billed Thrasher. Some have really strange odd shaped bills. Good looking birds!

Andrea Priebe said...

I love the blackbirds ... I wonder with that yellow eye if he is in any way related to the Grackle or with that large beak could be he related to the Ravon. Very cool bird. The deformity doesn't seem to keep him from eating as he looks healthy enough. He looks like he might have a "boarding house reach" at the feeder, Ha! Sure hope it doesn't cause him any problems. Very cool post, Stewart ... maybe another reason to put Tasmania on my list :)

Andrea @ From the Sol

eileeninmd said...

Hello Stewart, This Currawong is a cool looking bird. Yes, they do look very similar to the crows. Great shots, thanks for hosting.. Have a great week!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Stewart, This Currawong is a cool looking bird. Yes, they do look very similar to the crows. Great shots, thanks for hosting.. Have a great week!

Anni said...

Love this bird...the color, the golden eyes, AND THAT BEAK!!

Revrunner said...

A pity. I'm always saddened when I see birds that have been injured or deformed.

Sharon Wagner said...

Oh my. That must make it hard to eat. What great shots.

thewovenspoke said...

That is quite the beak they have without the one with the extra. They do look a bit like a raven.

Nora said...

I see the beak on the one that is different. They do look like a raven. Looks like a smart bird.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Stewart!:) These are first class shots of the amazing looking Black Currawong.
Regards.

Karen said...

Handsome bird even with the beak problem. Great close-ups Stewart!

Frank said...

Another interesting species from 'down under'. Super shots Stewart.

Margaret Adamson said...

A lovely looking birds but it is a pity that last bird has a deformed beak. As you can see I was able to link in but thanks for going to do it for me.

Linda W. said...

Nice pics - looks like that bird was posing for you! :)

Findlay Wilde said...

They are quite striking especially with that bright eye.

Valerie said...

Those certainly are intense stares!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Both of them are beautiful to me. A deformity. Not in my eye. He's just special.

bailey-road.com said...

Handsome black birds with mesmerizing eyes. Wonder how that beak affects feeding?

DeniseinVA said...

What an extraordinary bird with a very interesting beak. Great photos Stewart, I'm very happy to learn about this one. Thank you!

edenhills said...

That is an amazing beak! Love the bright eyes too.

Brian King said...

Wow, what gorgeous birds! Great dark plumage and striking yellow eyes! The beaks are impressive even without the abnormality of the one!

Felicia said...

handsome birds.

sad the one has a bad beak.

Liz said...

Beautiful images of the Currawong, Stewart! That deformed beak certainly would prove difficult for preening... and a challenge for eating.

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Very intense looking with those yellow eyes. I would think the deformed beak could cause some problems.

Mary Hone said...

They do look a bit like a crow, very interesting. The beak is something.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

A new bird to me. I'd love to meet a Currawong!
~

Irma said...

Hi Stewart,
This is a beautiful bird.
It is unfortunate that he has a deformed beak.
All images are perfectly sharp, good photos, my compliments.
Best regards, Irma

Adam Jones said...

That is a stonker of a bird.

Bob Bushell said...

The Currawongs are beautiful, a pity for this one. Brilliant images Stewart.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Hello Stewart!!! They really are beautiful birds. I love their yellow eyes.

Phil Slade said...

An interesting species Stewart. Although so very like a crow I can see how that hooked bill can make it a relative of shrikes.

amanda | wildly simple said...

My eye is drawn to those impressive rear claws. Thanks for introducing me to the Currawong!

Sheila at WolfSongBlog.Com said...

You can tell, just by looking at this bird, that it is smart! You sure have some interesting birds there. What a bill on this one! Thanks for hosting Wild Bird Wednesday so we can all share photos of gorgeous birds!

A Quiet Corner said...

The Jimmy Durante of the bird world, Stewart!...:)JP

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

It is interesting how they bear a resemblance to crows not only in plumage but in their intelligence which seems to go along with omnivorous food habits. Poor fellow with the deformed beak has managed to survive, maybe with help from handouts.

Pat Tillett said...

Well groomed or not, this is still a handsome and impressive bird. Nice photos Stewart!

Susan said...

Hi Stewart, you've captured them so well Stewart. How interesting to see that beak, but it'd be a bit hard to eat with I guess, still, he's obviously managed ok so far!

Russell Jenkins said...

I like the calls of pied currawongs in my hometown. I guess this has a similar call? I'm worried about that beak. Some very nice pictures, Stewart.

Linda said...

We don't have these but we have black crows.

Christian Perrin said...

Strange to see such a deformity. I imagine that bird in particular is reliant on handouts!

Beyond the Dog Dish said...

Funny, he looks like he would be a noisy bird too! Eating might be a bit of a challenge with that beak!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Serious beaks on all of those -- even the one that isn't deformed.

Hannah said...

Searing yellow eyes indeed, they do look a lot like a crow and probably act like them too, I'm sorry to see the deformed beak, probably just needs it clipped off....

Cranberry Morning said...

I've never heard of a Butcherbird or a Currawong before. Quite a handsome bird, but then I like most birds.