The grey currawong is a large passerine bird native to southern Australia, including Tasmania. It is a crow-like bird, around 48 cm long on average, with yellow irises, and a heavy bill, and dark plumage with white undertail and wing patches. The nominate race is grey, while the subspecies arguta is black, while melanoptera is grey-brown, argutina is black and sootY black is soot-black.
About Grey currawong in brief
The grey currawong is a large passerine bird native to southern Australia, including Tasmania. It is a crow-like bird, around 48 cm long on average, with yellow irises, and a heavy bill, and dark plumage with white undertail and wing patches. Six subspecies are recognised and are distinguished by overall plumage colour, which ranges from slate-grey for the nominate from New South Wales and eastern Victoria, to sooty black for the clinking currawongs of Tasmania and subspecies halmaturina from Kangaroo Island. It has adapted poorly to human impact and has declined in much of its range. The habitat includes all kinds of forested areas as well as scrubland in dryer parts of the country. It builds nests high in trees, which has limited the study of its breeding habits. The size of the white patch on the wing also varies, being large and easily spotted in versicolor, intermedia plumbea and arguta, but non-existent in halmatura and arguta. The nominate race is grey, while the subspecies arguta is black, while melanoptera is grey-brown, argutina is black and sootY black is soot-black. The black-winged currawONG was known to the Ramindjeri people of Encounter Bay as wati-eri, the word meaning ‘to sneak’ or ‘to track’ It is one of three species in the genus Strepera, closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian magpie of the family Artamidae.
Unlike its more common relative the pied curRAWong, the adult greyCurrawong ranges from 44 to 57 cm in length, with an average of around 52 cm ; the wingspan varies from 72 to 85 cm, averaging around 78 cm. Adults of the Tasmanian subspecies average around 440 g. The male is on average slightly larger than the female, but the size and weight ranges mostly overlap. The grey cur Crawong is generally a generally a dark grey bird with white in the wing, undertail cover, the tip of the tail, and most visibly, the orbital, black, whereas the bill and gape range from greyish black to black, black, black, and black. The male and female are similar in appearance and the plumage varies from grey to black in the nominate race. The bird has a loud distinctive ringing or clinking call, and is generally sedentary, although it is a winter visitor in the southeastern corner of Australia. It spends more time foraging on the ground, and builds nests in trees. It was first described as Corvus versicolors by ornithologist John Latham in 1801, who gave it the common name of ‘variable crow’ in Latin. It forms the genusStrepera and is only distantly related to true crows, and are instead closelyrelated to the Australian magpies and butcherbirds.