Fact

Insectivore

Insectivore species include Magpies, Ravens, Kookaburras, Swallows, Blackbirds, Sparrows, and Starlings

Ground Insects – Termites, Beetles, Ants.

Winged Insects – Mosquitoes, Flies, Moths

Foliage Insects – Scale, Bugs, Aphids, Insect Larvae, Spiders, Caterpillars, Crickets & Worms.

All these birds eat insects and bugs which contain meat (protein), cereal and grain extracts (carbohydrates) and other minerals. Some will eat mice and small animals/reptiles or pick at animal carcasses.

The ratio 60% protein, 40% carbohydrate is a good balance for their diet.

 

Description:

The Magpie-lark is distinctively marked in black and white. The thin whitish bill and pale iris separate it from other similarly coloured species. The adult male Magpie-lark has a white
eyebrow and black face, while the female has an all-white face with no white eyebrow. Young birds have a black forehead, a white eyebrow and a white throat. The Magpie-lark is often
referred to as a Peewee or Pee Wee, after the sound of its distinctive calls.

Range:
Magpie-larks are found in almost any habitat except rainforests and the driest deserts and are familiar urban birds.

Seasonal movements:
Seasonal migrations; non-breeding and young birds form large nomadic flocks, sometimes consisting of several thousand individuals; mainly move north in autumn/winter and south in
spring/summer.

Calls:
The ‘pee-o-wit’ or ‘pee-wee’ call is frequently given as a duet, each bird raising its wings in turn, and has given rise to the colloquial name of Peewee.

Feeding:
The Magpie-lark is mostly ground-dwelling, and is usually seen slowly searching on the ground for a variety of insects and their larvae, as well as earthworms and freshwater invertebrates.

 Facts and Figures:

  • Minimum size: 26 cm
  • Maximum size: 30 cm
  • Average size: 28 cm
  • Average weight: 92 g
  • Clutch size: 3-5

Description:

The Australian Magpie is black and white, but the plumage pattern varies across its range. Its nape, upper tail and shoulder are white in males, grey in females, the remainder of the body is black.

Magpies live in groups of up to 24 birds year round in territories that are actively defended by all group members. The group depends on this territory for its feeding, roosting and nesting requirements.

Range:
Australian Magpies are found wherever there is a combination of trees and adjacent open areas, including parks and playing fields. They are absent only from the densest forests and arid deserts.

Calls:
A loud musical flute-like song, often performed as a duet or by groups. An uncommon alternative name for the Australian Magpie is Flute Bird.

Did you know?
The Australian Magpie has one of the world’s most complex bird songs.

Feeding
The Australian Magpie walks along the ground searching for insects and their larvae. Birds will also take handouts from humans and will often venture into open houses to beg for food.

 Facts and Figures:

  • Minimum size: 36 cm
  • Maximum size: 44 cm
  • Average size: 40 cm
  • Average weight: 317 g

Description:

The Laughing Kookaburra is instantly recognisable in both plumage and voice. This large member of the kingfisher family measures 40 – 45 cm in length. It is generally off-white below, faintly barred with dark brown, and brown on the back and wings. The tail is more rufous, broadly barred with black. There is a conspicuous dark brown eye-stripe through the face.

The chuckling voice that gives this species its English name is a common and familiar sound throughout the bird’s range. The loud ‘koo-koo-koo-koo-koo-kaa-kaa-kaa’ is often sung in a chorus with other individuals. The Laughing Kookaburra also has a shorter ‘koooaa’, which is normally given when accompanied by other members of its family group.

Identification may only be confused where the Laughing Kookaburra’s range overlaps that of the Blue-winged Kookaburra, D. leachii, in eastern Queensland. The call of the Blue-winged Kookaburra is coarser than that of the Laughing Kookaburra, and ends somewhat abruptly. The Blue-winged Kookaburra lacks the brown eye-stripe, has a blue tail and a large amount of blue in the wing, and has a pale eye.

Distribution and Habitat:
The Laughing Kookaburra occurs throughout eastern Australia. It has also been introduced to Tasmania and the extreme south-west of Western Australia, as well as New Zealand. It inhabits most areas where there are suitable trees. In the central north and north-west of Australia it is replaced by the Blue-winged Kookaburra. The two overlap in range throughout Queensland, although the Blue-winged Kookaburra tends to occupy the coastal areas.

Food and Feeding
Laughing Kookaburras feed mostly on insects, worms and crustaceans, although small snakes, mammals, frogs and birds may also be eaten. Prey is seized by pouncing from a suitable perch. Small prey is eaten whole, but larger prey is killed by bashing it against the ground or tree branch. Laughing Kookaburras often become quite tame around humans and will readily accept scraps of meat. This ‘pre-processed’ food is still beaten against a perch before swallowing.

 

Description:

The Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, is neither a true Cuckoo nor a true Shrike, it is found Australia wide but is rarely seen in large numbers. Individual pairs are often seen perching on telephone wires.

The Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike has an undulating flight, flicking or shuffling the wings when settling after flight, giving rise to the common name of “shuffle-wing”.

It is a hopping bird and does not spend time on the ground searching for food as does the Magpie. Food is spotted from the perch above, collected from the ground then taken back to the perch to be eaten.

Nestling Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes have a mottled appearance, which blends into the tree bark of the nesting site, suggesting camouflage from predators.

Distribution and Habitat:
The Laughing Kookaburra occurs throughout eastern Australia. It has also been introduced to Tasmania and the extreme south-west of Western Australia, as well as New Zealand. It inhabits most areas where there are suitable trees. In the central north and north-west of Australia it is replaced by the Blue-winged Kookaburra. The two overlap in range throughout Queensland, although the Blue-winged Kookaburra tends to occupy the coastal areas.

Food and Feeding
Laughing Kookaburras feed mostly on insects, worms and crustaceans, although small snakes, mammals, frogs and birds may also be eaten. Prey is seized by pouncing from a suitable perch. Small prey is eaten whole, but larger prey is killed by bashing it against the ground or tree branch. Laughing Kookaburras often become quite tame around humans and will readily accept scraps of meat. This ‘pre-processed’ food is still beaten against a perch before swallowing.

 

Injured Wildlife Hotlines

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(08) 8289 0896
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1300 KOALAS (562 527)
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(08) 8486 1139
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0412 810 345

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