The carnivores have moved into the neighbourhood.  Over the last couple of years, we have had the occasional grey butcherbird visit but they don’t normally stick around.  February has been the exception.  The butcherbirds must have a nest nearby because a juvenile has been practising its maniacal cackle.  It is very endearing.  On the other hand, there have been few smaller birds around.  Too tasty, I guess. 

One stormy day, we heard the butcherbird singing joyously nearby.  We tentatively opened our front door only to realise that it was tucked down in our rose bush next to our front step.  It must have been sheltering from the wind.  It was the juvenile.  So with the metal security screen and railing between us and it, I ventured a couple of snaps.

Grey Days

singing practice
grey butcherbird hideout
happy to be home

butcher birdbb2

I’ve included a short video (not mine) for those interested in hearing them cackle.

This is my response to the Ragtag Daily PromptLooking Out My Front Door and Terri’s Sunday StillsFor The Birds.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

41 thoughts on “Grey Days

  1. It probably takes a couple dozen of these to make a meal — or even a decent snack, I suppose, eh?
    Thanks for sharing. We’ve got nothing but crows up here, this time of year.

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    1. It’s called a butcherbird for a reason, Heather. They have a tendency to hang up their carcasses. Or maybe I just read that in a children’s book. 🙂 I think in one of my monthly wrap ups I have a photo of a butcherbird with its beak and furthers smeared with blood. Apart from that, they are charming.

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  2. You get such wonderful shots of birds – and everything else – I’m impressed by your photography. We love birds though the variety here in Southern California, at least in our suburban neighborhood, is anemic. Still, we’ve been fortunate that several pair of peregrine falcon sometimes roost in the eucalyptus trees around our house. They make a kind of whistle sound that we like. But these butcherbirds really know how to sing for their supper!

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. The dry conditions have driven the butcherbirds into the urban fringes, but we have had rain so I suspect they will soon be moving on. I will miss their cheery singing though.
      I would love to have peregrines nesting nearby, but our other birds wouldn’t. So it is no wonder smaller birds stay well away from your place. 🙂

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  3. These are lovely shots Tracy. Reading your post made me realise how little I knew about these birds. I’m now slightly better informed — thank you Birdlife Australia. And thanks Tracy, for piquing my curiosity.

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    1. Birdlife Australia is my go to website for bird info, Su. Next time you are in Melbourne, you should take a trip out to Healesville Sanctuary. You will see some lovely birds out there. They have a raptor show too. They rehabilitate sick and injured raptors. Some can’t be returned to the wild though.

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  4. We have butcher birds near us and I love to hear them singing in the mornings when the air is still and the notes carry so well.
    On another ‘note’, recently we were excited to see a sparrow hawk (we think) swooping into the garden and carrying off a small creature, hopefully a mouse and not one of our dear little wrens. It was such an unusual sighting.

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    1. Wow, a sparrow hawk, Jane! That’s exciting. I don’t think a sparrow hawk would bother with a wren. The butcherbird is another story though. A mouse would be worth the effort.

      I hope the rain made it over the range to your place. Oddly, it has the feel of spring here with all the blossom that has burst forth.

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