"Rain Song" of Grey Butcherbird

Subject: "Rain Song" of Grey Butcherbird
From: Roaminoz <>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2011 03:17:41 -0500 (EST)

Hi Judith
I too have noticed that our Pied Butcherbirds do exactly the same thing when it 
rains, either heavy or light.  They will come in under the patio and 'chatter' 
away so many different sounds.   They don't do this anywhere near as often when 
it's not raining.   So I'm with you ... they like Gene Kelly, are 'singing in 
the rain'.


-----Original Message-----
From: Judith Hoyle <>
To: birding-aus <>
Sent: Sat, Dec 10, 2011 8:22 am
Subject: "Rain Song" of Grey Butcherbird

Hi All,
We are having lovely soft rain in SEQ at the moment. I note from a previous 
hread started by Margaret Cameron way back in 2007 that the subsong and mimicry 
f Grey Butcherbirds has been discussed before. But in that thread there was no 
nference between the weather and this behavior.
On both occasions we have had rain this week, one of our resident GBs has sat 
op of the open window of our wardrobe just under the eaves and sung its 
eautiful soft subsong, mimicking Pied Butcherbirds, the sound of the wingbeats 
f Crested Pigeons, Magpies and Noisy Miners. It is a wonderful thing to hear 
specially as I can stand about 2 foot from the bird without being detected. If 
t does get disturbed, it flies a short distance away and then returns to its 
ry 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 
ere the usual (yet no less fascinating) loud duettings between our birds. I 
ould be very interested to 
now if there is a strong the correlation between rain and the subsong mimickry 
n 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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