Thursday, November 24, 2011
This fine fellow is a currawong. Currawongs (named for their call) are sometimes mistaken for magpies, but can be easily distinguished by their bright yellow eyes (magpie eyes are a red-brown colour). Currawongs also have less white in their feathers. They're a big bird - close to 50cm - and their numbers used to be controlled by the availability of food during winter. Unfortunately, many introduced garden plants produce berries in winter, and the currawongs are quite happy to eat them, so their numbers have grown, especially in urban areas, and they're now a threat to smaller birds such as Fairy Wrens. They've even been known to hunts in groups and carry off possums!