Re: birding-aus Pied Butcherbird Song

To: Nigel Sterpin <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Pied Butcherbird Song
From: Keith Martin <>
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1999 18:06:30 +1000 (EST)

Nigel Sterpin wrote:

> Just had an enjoyable trip to the Sunset country in Northern Victoria.
> Saw a Pied Butcherbird for the first time and read up on its details.
>All the field guides suggest it is arguably the most wonderful song of
> any Australian Bird (and I already thought the Grey Butcherbird was
pretty good),
 but I didn't get to hear it.
> Is it really something worth hearing and are any other birds in its 'class'?

Well, I don't know about it being THE most wonderful songster, but it
has to be one of the best... I am recently back from a month in the
north-west (Kimberley and NW Northern Territory)
and I am definitely pining for its call, having been one of the commonest 
bush sounds most mornings.

In recently burnt areas (and there were rather too many of these for my
liking, but that's another issue altogether) the Pied Butcherbirds were
present in huge numbers, and the resulting dawn chorus was very eery to
say the least.

One morning at Wyndham I was approached by a Swiss holidaymaker who said
he had seen me up early and wondered if I could tell him the name of the
bird "that sounds like a beautiful woodwind instrument being played"..
it didn't take too long to figure that one out...

So yes - it's a very haunting melodic call, and worth a trip back to the
Sunset country to hear (in case you need an excuse..)



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