Black Currawong bird photo call and song/ Strepera fuliginosa (Coronica fuliginosa) [31] As in all passerines, the chicks are born naked, and blind (altricial), and remain in the nest for an extended period (nidicolous). [23] Flocks have also been recorded making the 20 km (12 mi) long journey across water from Maria Island to the mainland in the morning and returning at nightfall,[22] as well as moving between islands in the Maatsuyker group. [13] Before or around dawn and at nightfall appear to be periods of increased calling, and birds are reported to be more vocal before rain or storms. Its main call is markedly different from the pied or grey currawongs and has been described as a combination of alternating kar and wheek sounds,[19] killok killok, or even akin to part song and part human laughter. It is rare below altitudes of 200 m (660 ft). Other vertebrates recorded as prey include the house mouse (Mus musculus),[12] small lizards, tadpoles, chickens,[35] ducklings, the young of domestic turkey,[12] Tasmanian nativehen (Gallinula mortierii),[23] flame robin (Petroica phoenicea) and rabbit. [13] The forest and little ravens are similar in size but lack the white wing patches, and instead have entirely black plumage and white, rather than yellow eyes. Wiping the carpal areas of wings in particular with their bills, they did not appear to wash afterwards, using the procedure as a form of dirt bath. Three subspecies are recognised, one of which, Strepera fuliginosa colei of King Island, is vulnerable to extinction. The white tips line the trailing edges of the wings in flight, and a paler arc across the bases of the primary flight feathers is also visible on the underwing. [7] Subsequent authors have considered it a separate species,[8][9] although Richard Schodde and Ian Mason describe it as forming a superspecies with the pied currawong. [22], The black currawong is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The black currawong, also known locally as the black jay, is a large passerine bird endemic to Tasmania and the nearby islands within the Bass Strait. The black currawong was first described by ornithologist John Gould in 1836 as Cracticus fuliginosus,[3] and in 1837 as Coronica fuliginosa. The Black Currawong is endemic to Tasmania and lives in a range of habitats. S. v. arguta, the darkest race, is from eastern Tasmania and is known as the clinking currawong from its call or locally as the black magpie. [24] The black currawong has expanded into the northeast corner of the island, to Musselroe Bay and Cape Portland. These currawongs are often noisy, giving a strange yodelling call, rendered as kar-week, week-kar, that … It roosts and breeds in trees. [8], The black currawong is about 50 cm (20 in) long with an 80 cm (31 in) wingspan. Although there is no seasonal variation to the plumage, the black may fade a little to a dark brown with wear. [8] Although crow-like in appearance and habits, currawongs are only distantly related to true crows, and are instead closely related to the Australian magpie and the butcherbirds. The habitat includes densely forested areas as well as alpine heathland. [21] The black currawong is unlikely to be mistaken for the closely related pied currawong as the latter does not reach Tasmania, but it has a longer and deeper bill and lacks the white rump and undertail coverts. Black Currawong bird photo call and song/ Strepera fuliginosa (Coronica fuliginosa) [13] Play behaviour has been observed, particularly with subadult individuals. The species is often confused with the local dark-plumaged subspecies of the grey currawong (S. versicolor), known as the clinking currawong or hill magpie. [4] The specific epithet is the Late Latin adjective fuliginosus "sooty" from Latin fūlīgo "soot",[5] and refers to the black plumage. The bill and legs are black and the eyes bright yellow. [6] The oldest recorded age of a black currawong has been 15 years; a bird was sighted in July 2004 near Fern Tree, Tasmania, less than 2 km (1.2 mi) from where it had been banded in July 1989. Photos: Finley Japp, ajhaysom, Jeluba, |kris|, PsJeremy, Graham Ekins, Iain B. of Over, Rohanbird, Dave 2x Flickr.com. [11], Common names include black currawong, sooty currawong, black bell-magpie,[12] black or mountain magpie, black or sooty crow-shrike, and muttonbird. [12], Black currawongs are very common around picnic areas in Tasmania's two most popular National Parks, Freycinet and Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair, and are often fed by tourists there. [27], The black currawong is generally found in wetter eucalypt forests, dominated by such species as alpine ash (Eucalyptus delegatensis), messmate (E. obliqua), and mountain gum (E. dalrympleana), sometimes with a beech (Nothofagus) understory. Most commonly, black currawongs forage in pairs, but they may congregate in larger groups—flocks of 100 birds have descended on orchards to eat apples or rotten fruit. The Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) is a medium-large songbird found in eastern Australia and on Lord Howe Island. [13], There are three subspecies of the black currawong: the nominate form Strepera fuliginosa fuliginosa of Tasmania; Strepera fuliginosa parvior of Flinders Island, described by Schodde and Mason in 1999;[10] and Strepera fuliginosa colei of King Island, described by Gregory Mathews in 1916. [32], It can become quite bold and tame, much like its close relative, the pied currawong on the Australian mainland, especially in public parks and gardens where people make a habit of feeding it. The species has been observed in a mixed-species flocks with forest ravens (Corvus tasmanicus), and silver gulls (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), white-faced herons (Egretta novaehollandiae), white-fronted chats (Epthianura albifrons), and European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) on the beach at Sundown Point. [32], No systematic studies have been done on the diet of the black currawong,[23] but it is known to be omnivorous, feeding on a wide variety of foodstuffs including insects and small vertebrates, carrion, and berries. [31] Like all currawongs, it builds a large cup-nest out of sticks, lined with softer material, and placed in the fork of a tree from 3 to 20 m (9.8 to 65.6 ft) high. [30], Breeding occurs from August to December. [19] Parents also make a long fluting whistle to summon their young. [22] Within its range it is largely sedentary, although some populations at higher altitudes may move to lower altitudes during winter. This is an adaptable species common in a variety of habitats including rainforest, wet & dry eucalypt forest, woodland, farmland and urban areas. [26] There are estimated to be around 500 birds. [6] American ornithologist Dean Amadon regarded the black currawong as a subspecies of the pied currawong (Strepera graculina), seeing it as part of a continuum with subspecies ashbyi of the latter species, the complex having progressively less white plumage as one moves south. [15] Ornithologists Charles Sibley and Jon E. Ahlquist recognised the close relationship between the woodswallows and the butcherbirds and relatives in 1985, and combined them into a Cracticini clade,[16] which later became the family Artamidae. Both parents feed the young, but the male feeds them alone after leaving the nest and as they become more independent,[19] and also moves from giving food directly to them to placing it on the ground near them so they learn to eat for themselves. This Currawong sat up and posed for me as I took the shot, I'm sure he must have had his photo taken before. Pied Currawongs, Strepera graculina, love hanging out in the suburbs in eastern Australia.You cannot miss them. One of three currawong species in the genus Strepera, it is closely related to the butcherbirds and Australian magpie within the family Artamidae. They can be noisy, especially when there are a lot in one area. Breeding in Australasia: Tasmania; can be seen in 1 country. Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor) bird call sounds on dibird.com. In lowlands it is more restricted to denser forests and moist gullies, while it also occurs in alpine scrubland and heathland at altitude. However, the agile currawongs are adept at snatching fragments of food left by picnickers so the birds may only ultimately be discouraged by an (impractical) ban on food in National Parks.