Grey Butcherbird - Cracticus torquatus

Grey Butcherbird

Cracticus torquatus

Family: Artamidae (Woodswallows, Butcherbirds, Currawongs, 15 species in Australia)
Size: 24-30 cm
Distribution: Approximately the southern half of Australia, most of QLD except the extreme northwest, only the southernmost part of NT.
Status: Common to locally uncommon
Habitat: Open forest, woodland, mallee, urban, farmland
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

The grey butcherbird is a small bird in the same family as magpies and currawongs. It has a lovely song, which is its most distinctive feature. It is often heard in the lower and mid Blue Mountains. There is also a pied butcherbird which is black and white coloured.

It has a pronounced hook at the end of its beak that can be seen up close.

Grey Butcherbird - Cracticus torquatus
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW.

Grey Butcherbird - Cracticus torquatus
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW.

Grey Butcherbird - Cracticus torquatus
Artwork: John Gould, 'The Birds of Australia', 1848. Original Scanned Image.

Some Birdwatching Resources


Field Guide to Australian Birds: Complete Compact Edition, by Michael Morcombe NEW: Field Guide to Australian Birds: Complete Compact Edition, by Michael Morcombe. Based on the above larger book. It's a while since I've seen this one. The publisher's commentary says that "This slimline, compact edition contains the same information on mainland and Tasmanian birds as his best-selling handbook, the Field Guide to Australian Birds. Features include plastic jacket, QuickFind system of colour tags and Quick Index ensure durability and ease of use in the field."

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)


Birdsong, Don Stap Birdsong, Don Stap. From the promotional material: "Following one of the world's experts on birdsong from the woods of Martha's Vineyard to the tropical forests of Central America, Don Stap brings to life the quest to unravel an ancient mystery: Why do birds sing and what do their songs mean? We quickly discover that one question leads to another. Why does the chestnut-sided warbler sing one song before dawn and another after sunrise? Why does the brown thrasher have a repertoire of two thousand songs when the chipping sparrow has only one? And how is the hermit thrush able to sing a duet with itself, producing two sounds simultaneously to create its beautiful, flutelike melody?"

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to purchase from Wilderness Awareness School $24.00 USD (May not work)

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Grey Butcherbird - Cracticus torquatus

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