The Chapman/Rivett Grey Butcherbirds have been making a range of calls,
including a very melodic one that has had me fooled a few times. However,
as far as I can tell they are not from a mimicking Satin Bowerbird, certainly
within my GBS, as I usually like to sight the bird before it goes onto my
There are SBBs in my garden at present, but generally very quiet, mainly
because there is a female feeding at least one, possibly two, dependent
young. This is only the second time in my garden, and a surprise.
The previous time was when they were very common pre-fires with a bower across
the fence and lots in the neighbourhood. These days I only occasionally
record them, and I know of only one bower in the neighbourhood.
Lots of begging Eastern and Crimson Rosellas over the past month too, and
again the calls sometimes fool me at first.
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 12:39 PM
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Butcherbird in Holder
this is a typical mover-through. I wonder if we can be always absolutely
sure the call IS a GBbd, in view of the possibility of a mimicking
bowerbird. The call seems to invite mimicry, and I’ve got a few of the
latter moving through now but revealing their presence with a typical
“spk-SCHERRL-sprzzt”, with the SCHERRL being a rich throaty whistle. I
wonder if Philip has ever had SBowbds mimicking GButbds. Perhaps not the
mimicking season, though.
Sent: Friday, 10 February 2012
To: 'Sue Beatty'
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds]
Butcherbird in Holder
Have confidence. No need to doubt this. Not unusual although it was
less common in past years. GBS records show them to have been increasing in
Canberra over the years. The GBS Report shows this. Even to my surprise, with
more recent data, BOCG V2 doesn't say anything about an increase (or change) in
numbers - only the obvious, that it is less common than Magpies etc!
From: Sue Beatty [
Sent: Friday, 10 February 2012 8:42 AM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Butcherbird in Holder
Butcherbird just passed through my GBS area! I don’t think I’ve seen one here
before. I only got a quick look at it and would say it was probably an immature,
but that cackly call is hard to miss. Is this unusual or are they all over the
place and I just haven’t been paying attention?