Gray Butcherbird

A long, powerful bill w ith a hooked tip indicates the predatory nature of this species. Its flight is strong and fast. It feeds on small birds, insects, lizards, and mice, swooping down from a perch to snatch them. Unlike true birds of prey it cannot hold down its victims with its foot. Instead, it carries prey back to the perch and either wedges it in a twig fork or impales it on a thorn to tear at it. This behavior probably explains its name. Pairs live in permanent territories and boldly attack predators that threaten the nest. The species utters musical, whistling calls, and pairs sing "ducts" while repeatedly bowing to each other.

• nlist A well built cup nest of small twigs, lined with rootlets and vine tendrils, and usually placed in a vertical tree fork.

• Distribution Australia, excluding desert areas.

Family ariamidai:

Species Anamus dnereus

Length 7 in(lfitm)

Plumage scx<;s a|ike

Migration Non-migrant


Species Cradicus torquatus

Length 1014 in (27 cm)


bill with u hooked lip

> shod legs for perching

Family (

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