A blog about Lamb Island in Moreton Bay, Queensland – a unique little paradise under forty kilometres as the seagull flies from Brisbane CBD.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Everybody wants to get into the act.

I was setting up to get a shot of this butcher bird eating mince (it's one of five adults and four juveniles from last spring that regard our deck as part of their territory) when the sulphur-crested cockatoo arrived on the director's chair that gives it a clear view up the hallway to our home office – or more pertinently, gives us a clear view of it. (And yes, seed was forthcoming.)

But about butcher birds: The one above is the ‘pied’ butcher bird (aka Cracticus nigrogularis), and although they mainly eat bugs and small lizards etc, they get their name from their habit of hanging occasional larger prey in the forks of branches while they eat it. They're talented mimics, and they’ll often just sit somewhere and run through an amazing repertoire of not just their own varied songs, but those of other birds, and even dog barks. More about them here.