Rufous morph of Black Butcherbird quesiton.

To: Helen Larson <>
Subject: Rufous morph of Black Butcherbird quesiton.
From: Joseph Morlan <>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2014 21:29:14 -0700

Thanks.  I received a compelling photo showing a rufous morph molting in black 
body feathers.  I think that should settle the matter.  The rufous morph is 
temporary and occurs only in juveniles and immatures.

Thanks to all for clarifying this.

Sent from my iPad

> On Oct 8, 2014, at 6:32 PM, Helen Larson <> wrote:
> Hello Joseph
>    The Black butcherbirds around us (Mission Beach, Far North Queensland) 
> have rufous young but they change to black sometime after parents have sent 
> them off to fend for themselves it seems. These are skulkers that hide in our 
> garden hunting our lizards but spend most time in the forest behind us so 
> it's difficult to see how the change happens. All the birds that sing and 
> carol well are black; though I have watched one browny-rufous bird sing from 
> a tree nearby some time ago; a short song though and I think it must be all 
> black now as we have not noticed it. 
> Helen
> <')/////==<
> > From: 
> > To: 
> > Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2014 08:29:02 -0700
> > Subject: [Birding-Aus] Rufous morph of Black Butcherbird quesiton.
> > 
> > I understand the rufous morph of the Black Butcherbird occurs only in the
> > race Cracticus quoyi rufescens. What is not clear is whether this morph is
> > confined to juveniles/immatures or if it is retained until adulthood. One
> > source (Simpson & Day 7th edition) mentions in passing that the species may
> > breed in brown plumage. If so, that suggests to me that the rufous morph
> > may be permanent.
> > 
> > Do rufous morph Black Butcherbirds turn black as adults or not? What is
> > the evidence that they do?
> > 
> > Thanks in advance. 
> > -- 
> > Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA
> > "It turns out we're very good at not seeing things" - Jack Hitt
> > 
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