Grey Currawong mimicry

Subject: Grey Currawong mimicry
From: Carol Probets <>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2001 16:00:26 +1100
Hi all, and greetings from a cold and windy Katoomba!

After snow falling this morning and a freezing wind all day, it's not what
you'd call ideal weather for birding, but this afternoon I did see
something that I thought was pretty curious. While trying unsuccessfully to
get some work done, my attention was distracted by the distinctive call of
a Grey Currawong. As this is a species I only see occasionally at my place
(although I frequently see them elsewhere in the Blue Mountains), I went
outside and there it was, high in a branch, head pointed skyward and bill
wide open, calling loudly. "Chlink chlink chlink!" I stood there watching
it for a while, impressed by its enthusiasm. Then suddenly, to my surprise
it did a perfect imitation of a Pied Currawong, "currawong currawong
currawok". Four times. For the next half hour it flew around from tree to
tree, giving alternately the calls of Grey and Pied Currawong.

While it was doing this, a few Pied Currawongs appeared, calling excitedly
and trying to fly west. I say "trying to", because in the strong westerly
wind they were almost going backwards!

I cannot find any reference to Grey Currawongs using vocal mimicry. This
bird was definitely a Grey, not a Pied, and I saw the bill open and throat
move as it made both calls.



Carol Probets
Blue Mountains NSW

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