Piping Shrike is South Aus emblemic bird

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Piping Shrike is South Aus emblemic bird
From: Doug Holly <>
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2015 22:48:29 +0000
There has always been confusion over this name because Piping Shrike was
used as the name of the White-backed Magpie when the South Aust constitution
was written.

Identification of the birdEdit

Because the name piping shrike is not used to identify any bird, there has
been some confusion over what bird it represents. While some think it
resembles the Murray magpie <>
(Grallina cyanoleuca), the original reports specify that it is based on the
Australian magpie <> ,
<> [1]
and government sources specify the subspecies as the white-backed magpie
(Cracticus tibicen telonocua formerly Gymnorhina tibicen leuconota).
<> [4] The
connection of this bird to the name piping shrike can be seen in this early
observation by explorer Charles Sturt
<>  in the 1840s:

"GYMNORHINA LEUCONOTA GOULD., The White-backed Crow Shrike. This bird is
somewhat larger than, and very much resembles a magpie, but the proportion
of white is greater, and there is no metallic or varied tint on the black
feathers as on the European bird. In South Australia it is a winter bird,
and his clear fine note was always the most heard on the coldest morning, as
if that temperature best suited him. All the species of this genus are
easily domesticated, and learn to pipe tunes. They are mischievous birds
about a house, but are useful in a garden. I had one that ranged the fields
to a great distance round the house, but always returned to sleep in it."

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