Currawong.JPG (26660 bytes)Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina): is a large black bird with a robust, black bill and characteristic yellow eyes. They are between 425 to 490 millimetres in length. Two distinctive features are the white base at the tail and a large white patch on each wing.
Pied Currawongs become very bold wherever food and people are together particularly in picnic areas and parks. The bird illustrated is a constant visitor to a picnic area in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.
They range along the coast and tablelands from north Queensland to southern Victoria.
In many areas Pied Currawongs have become an environmental problem. They prey on the nestlings of smaller native birds. Pied Currawongs may be a greater threat to other native birds than feral cats.
In some areas there has been a Pied Currawong population explosion. They feed on the berries of Cotoneasters and Pyracanthas. These exotic shrubs have been extensively planted as hedges in colder areas such as the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales and plants have become naturalised in bushland areas. This guaranteed food source has allowed Pied Currawong numbers to build up dramatically.
Channel-billed Cuckoos parasitise Pied Currawong nests.