Grey butcherbird variations

To: <>
Subject: Grey butcherbird variations
From: "Bill Stent" <>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 13:31:13 +1100
Hi folks, Bill here

My non-birding wife just called to say that a butcherbird was sitting on
our cat run, scaring the poor caged moggies.  She knew enough to realise
that this wasn't a normal bird for our garden - we get things like
wattlebirds, spotted doves and heaps of pests like mynahs.

She had found my field guide and had diagnosed it as a pied butcherbird,
which would be certainly unusual for Melbourne.  She readily agreed that
it was more likely to be a grey, but insisted that the white band went
all the way round the back of the neck, which is certainly not what the
field guide had.  She's looking at Simpson and Day, and so am I.

The question is, do grey butcherbirds sometimes have the white band all
the way round the back of the neck?  I notice that, according to P&K's
distribution maps, vagrant pieds have been seen in Melbourne.  Could it
be that our poor defenceless moggies are being harassed by a northerner?
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