Magpie_Lark.JPG (31803 bytes)Magpie Lark (Grallina cyanoleuca): is also known as Mudlark, Peewee and Peewit.

The Magpie Lark is between 260 and 300 millimetres long. They are black and white. Males have prominent white eyebrows and broad white panels down each side of the neck below the eyes. Females are similar to males but their foreheads and throats are white with broad black bands from their crowns through the eyes to black breast- bands. Males and females have whitish bills, pale yellow eyes and black legs.

They are usually observed in pairs or family parties. On the Northern Tablelands, of New South Wales, Magpie Larks are usually observed in pairs or groups of four.

Magpie Larks feed mainly on the ground. They have a distinctive walk moving their heads back and forth.

Magpie Larks are widely distributed and are common in urban areas. We have seen a pair in a local greengrocer’s shop, wandering between the legs of shoppers, picking up food scraps. Their natural diet consists of small reptiles, insects and other invertebrates.

Magpie Larks construct bowl-shaped, mud nests bound with grass and lined with hair, grass and feathers. There are three to five white or pinkish eggs with reddish, purple brown or violet spots and blotches. They often nest near nesting Willie Wagtails.

Magpie Larks are found throughout mainland Australia but not Tasmania.

They sometimes visit Yallaroo. We usually see a pair for a day or so every few months.

The specimen illustrated was at Gosford on the Central Coast of New South Wales. This bird is a male.