Black Butcherbird

Subject: Black Butcherbird
From: Graeme Chapman <>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2014 19:58:49 +1100
Hello Joseph,

I am sure the reason why Black Butcherbirds have been recorded as "breeding" in 
rufous plumage is simply a case of immature helpers at the nest, a common 
behaviour in the family Cracticidae certainly by Pied Butcherbirds, less often 
by Grey Butcherbirds  also by Australian Magpies and some woodswallows.

The brown plumage of young Pied Butcherbirds is well known and a good parallel  
to the rufous plumage of young Black Butcherbirds. On my website,
image #700206 shows a young Pied helping at the nest.

I  can find only one reference to known young Black Butcherbirds (in this case 
nestlings) in black plumage in Australia, this a second hand report related by 
A.J North in his "Nests and Eggs -------". Reading the rest of his notes, it is 
certainly not the norm and indeed probably quite unusual.


Graeme Chapman.
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