Pied Currawong Markings

To: Canberrabirds <>
Subject: Pied Currawong Markings
From: Bruce Ramsay <>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 18:19:24 +1100
The other day Ong Tun Pin wrote in regarding the absence of white at
the upper tail base (considered in Field Guides to be indicative of
Grey Currawong) of a presumed Pied Currawong that he had seen and
photographed in Canberra recently.

Frank Antram replied on this chat line (others may have responded to
Tun Pin privately - I don't know) that he felt the bird was probably
an immature Pied Currawong and not a Grey Currawong. And not an
aberrant form or a bird suffering from feather disease.

I would just like to confirm Frank's intuition ?(maybe personal
observation?) with a direct observation. I have just had a young Pied
Currawong in the bird bath in our back garden here in Gordon. I am
confident that it is a Pied because it has been fed (and is still
begging vociferously) by adult Pied Currawongs. It seems certain it is
their offspring. I was unable to get a photo but clearly saw the
bird's back. It too has no white at the upper tail base.

I don't know if this is a feature of ALL juvenile/immature Pied
Currawongs (I suspect not). And I don't have access to a HANZAB so I'm
not able to check there to see if it notes this feature and how
widespread it may be.

But it now seems certain that SOME juvenile Pied Currawongs in
Canberra (the bird Tun Pin photographed and the one I have just
observed here, at the very least) do not show any white at the upper
tail base.

Hope this is of some interest.


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