Pied-butcher.JPG (32946 bytes)Pied Butcherbird (Craclicus nigrogularis): is a large handsome black and white bird between 325-375 millimetres long. The body, head, throat and upper breast are white. The wings and back are black with a white patch on the wings. A white rump and black tail with white corner completes the black and white colour scheme. The bill is straight with a hook on the end.
Pied Butcherbirds are found single, in pairs or family parties. At Yallaroo they are observed in pairs.
Their diet consists of small birds, mammals, reptiles and insects. Butcherbirds acquired their name because of the way that they deal with prey too large to swallow. The prey is wedged in a fork or fence wire then dismembered.
They have a glorious voice. One part of their call is reminiscent of the first few bars of the theme of the old television western, Bonanza.
The Pied Butcherbird is widely distributed throughout mainland Australia .
We first heard the call, of the Pied Butcherbird, many years ago when we were rangers at the Warrumbungle National Park in central New South Wales .
At least one pair is resident around Yallaroo. We feel that their voice is in the top ten of Australian bird calls.