"Rain Song" of Grey Butcherbird

To: <>
Subject: "Rain Song" of Grey Butcherbird
From: Judith Hoyle <>
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 22:22:03 +0000
Hi All,

We are having lovely soft rain in SEQ at the moment. I note from a previous 
thread started by Margaret Cameron way back in 2007 that the subsong and 
mimicry of Grey Butcherbirds has been discussed before. But in that thread 
there was no inference between the weather and this behavior.

On both occasions we have had rain this week, one of our resident GBs has sat 
on top of the open window of our wardrobe just under the eaves and sung its 
beautiful soft subsong, mimicking Pied Butcherbirds, the sound of the wingbeats 
of Crested Pigeons, Magpies and Noisy Miners. It is a wonderful thing to hear 
especially as I can stand about 2 foot from the bird without being detected. If 
it does get disturbed, it flies a short distance away and then returns to its 
dry perch under the eaves before starting to sing again.

This is not new behaviour because last year during our very wet 'Wet', it 
(they?) did exactly the same thing. In short, if it is not raining we only ever 
here the usual (yet no less fascinating) loud duettings between our birds. I 
would be very interested to 
know if there is a strong the correlation between rain and the subsong mimickry 
in this species, or is it just our birds that like "Singing in the Rain"???

Looking forward to hearing your views and experiences.



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