Piping Shrike is South Aus emblemic bird

To: Doug Holly <>
Subject: Piping Shrike is South Aus emblemic bird
From: Martin Butterfield <>
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2015 22:58:21 +0000
I had assumed that the need for editing suggested by Carl was due to the
reference to the *real* vernacular name of *Grallina cyanoleuca*, which is
 Murray Magpie.  No-one in South Australia would dream of calling these
birds such odd names as Peewee (a North American flycatcher) or Mudlark (a
game of Rugby in damp conditions) and only serious birders would use
.Magpie Lark.


Martin Butterfield

On 14 August 2015 at 08:48, Doug Holly <> wrote:

> 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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