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Pied Currawong in Gumtree

Pied Currawong in Gumtree
Photo Information
Copyright: Murray Lines (mlines) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-02-15
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS400D, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-02-29 2:31
Viewed: 3691
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Pied Currawong is a large (44cm - 51cm), mostly black bird, with a bright yellow eye. Small patches of white are confined to the under tail, the tips and bases of the tail feathers and a small patch towards the tip of each wing (visible in flight). The bill is large and black and the legs are dark grey-black. Both sexes are similar, although the female may sometimes be greyer on the underparts. The main call is a loud "currawong", which gives the bird its name. Other frequent sounds include deep croaks and a wolf whistle. Young Pied Currawongs are duller and browner than the adults are.

Two other species of currawong are found in Australia. The Grey Currawong, S. versicolor, lives in Australia's south, while the Black Currawong, S. fuliginosa, is restricted to Tasmania. Both of these species differ from the Pied Currawong in lacking white on the rump. The Grey Currawong is variable across its range, grey in the east, blacker in Tasmania and browner in the west, with regional differences in the amounts of white in the wing. Another Australian species that is sometimes confused with the Pied Currawong is the Australian Magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen, although the two are quite different in plumage. The Magpie has a grey and black bill and a red-brown eye. The Australian Magpie also has large areas of white on the body.

Distribution and Habitat
The Pied Currawong prefers forests and woodlands, and has become well adapted to suburban areas. It is found throughout eastern Australia, from northern Queensland to Victoria, but is absent from Tasmania. Throughout its range it is common and familiar. Outside of the breeding season large flocks of Pied Currawongs form, but at most other times these birds are seen alone, in pairs or in family groups. In the north of their range they tend to stay in the same areas year round, while in the south, they may move from the higher areas to the lowlands, especially in the colder regions.

Food and Feeding
Pied Currawongs feed on a variety of foods including small lizards, insects, caterpillars and berries. They also take a large number of small and young birds, especially around urban areas where suitable cover is scarce. The growing numbers of Currawongs in these areas have been implicated in the fall in numbers of the smaller bird species. Larger prey, up to the size of a young possum, is also taken, and birds will occasionally hunt as a group. Prey may be stored in a 'larder' (hung on a hook or in a tree fork or crevice) and either eaten straight away or, in the case of larger prey, over a period of time.

Luis52, JPlumb, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hola Murray.
Hermosa la foto de este cuervo. Los colores de sus ojos son bellos, Fina pose tambien y exelente nota.

Hi Murray, the pose on this guy is good, and you got that great eye of his. This is a tough shot, a black body against a very light background. I can understand why you went with ASA 800 to get the light onto the bird, and he is well exposed. He seems maybe a little noisy though. Normally I've noticed that Canon is noise free up to 800 ASA. Was this a crop?

Thanks, John

HI Murray,

Your note is informative. The Pied Currawong on the branch is impressive, it is looking away from the lens. The details and colors of the bird are clear and precise. The subject is well framed. Have a nice day.


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