Currawong Migration?

To: "'birding aus'" <>
Subject: Currawong Migration?
From: "Colin Driscoll" <>
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2006 13:15:04 +1000
I grew up on farmland on the Central Coast of NSW about 10km east of the
Watagan Range. Each winter morning we would watch the Currawongs fly from
the ranges out to the lowlands and each evening they would fly back at
sunset. The morning flights were particularly special because we could see
these black specks in the distance and watch them turn into that
characteristic swooping glide, and if we were really lucky we could follow
one from way out to when it landed in the Persimon tree outside the kitchen
window. During the spring this all stopped until the next winter and the
only Currawongs we would see were when we went up into the Watagans.

WRT the honeyeaters, I was working in Aberdare State Forest (Cessnock area)
on Monday and it was full of honeyeaters. Looking through binoculars from a
high point they were like swarms of flies, not going anywhere in particular,
just having a great time!


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Carol Probets
Sent: Tuesday, 25 April 2006 12:37 PM
To: Evan Beaver; birding aus
Subject: Currawong Migration?

Hi Evan,

Yes, Pied Currawongs do migrate in a rather complex fashion. Some references
suggest a north-south movement, other references suggest an altitudinal
movement while others describe winter flocking in urban areas. Here in the
Blue Mountains the main movements appear to be in an east-west direction. I
generally see large numbers flying west through Katoomba during the
autumn-winter months. Where they're going, I have no idea.

Some years ago, John Farrell at Springwood NSW did a study of their
migration patterns and while the findings are too complicated to easily
summarise here they were published as the following paper:
Farrell, JR, (1995) 'Movement patterns of Pied Currawongs Strepera graculina
in central western New South Wales'. Corella 19(3): pp 95-102.

For such a common bird we know so little.

This morning the Yellow-faced/White-naped Honeyeater migration was only
slightly less impressive than the huge numbers I reported last Saturday,
with around 5850 birds per hour flying over my street. As soon as the sky
became cloudy about 11am, migration stopped.


Blue Mountains, NSW

At 7:56 AM +1000 25/4/06, Evan Beaver wrote:
>AS I sat on my balcony yesterday afternoon I watched a 'flock' of 
>Currawongs, probably 45 strong flying through. They were all headed the 
>same direction, and used all the same trees on their way through, but 
>were only very loosely flocking. Either they were migrating (South 
>West) from the plains into the hills (which seems unlikely) or 
>something was going on that they all knew about.


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