Pied Butcherbirds Catching a Stubble Quail

Subject: Pied Butcherbirds Catching a Stubble Quail
From: "Frank O'Connor" <>
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2004 22:09:39 +0800

On Saturday 10th April, I was at the Charles Darwin Nature Reserve (formerly White Wells Station about 350km NE of Perth) with the WA Naturalists Club. John Luyer and I went looking for an Inland Dotterel that had been seen three days earlier in a paddock about 1km from the homestead. We were walking through the paddock when we heard bird calls that John and I thought were probably babblers. We walked over to the general area from where we heard the calls. Two Pied Butcherbirds flew away from off the ground. I initially thought they had just been squabbling. A third Pied Butcherbird also lifted off dragging a bird in its feet. I tentatively identified the caught bird as a Stubble Quail (and I was glad that it didn't seem to be the Inland Dotterel!).

We slowly followed the butcherbirds to get a better look. They flew a number of times, and it appeared that different birds were carrying the quail. An immature was carrying it at one point. Finally we got a good view of an adult Pied Butcherbird with the prey on a small fallen log. As it dragged it on to the log, I clearly identified the prey as a Stubble Quail. The butcherbird then started to feed. I wonder whether this has been previously recorded?

Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694 Email :

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