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

Tasco Essentials 10x50 Binoculars - Grey Butcherbird - Cracticus torquatusTasco Essentials 10x50 Binoculars

I have the 8x40 of this series, which I bought because I saw them on special, and they had a much clearer image than the cheap no-name brand binoculars I had before. I would have got 10x50 instead if they had been on special also. These are great basic binoculars which can be used for birdwatching, stargazing, etc.

The first number (like 8 or 10) refers to the magnification, so bigger numbers mean you can see closer up, but the image will shake around more. The second number (like 40 or 50) is the diameter of the large lenses in millimetres. Bigger numbers mean more light gets in, so the image is clearer and better, at the expense of being larger and heavier to carry around.

With binoculars, once you get above the really cheap models (like $30-50), the image quality is pretty good. You can pay a lot more, like a few hundred dollars, or $1000 or $2000 even — but most of what you get isn't so much raw image quality but other features like durability, being waterproof, better lens coatings, image stabilisation, etc. Cheaper binoculars are more delicate and if not treated gently the two sides can go out of alignment with each other.

The product information says, "Tasco has been America's popular choice in sports optics for over 50 years. For half a century we've made it our mission to design and manufacture quality optics at prices that will fit any family's budget. Tasco products are packed with the latest features, built to exacting quality control standards, and designed to deliver a lifetime of satisfaction — so you can choose Tasco with confidence. With a great selection to choose from, you're sure to find just the right sports optics product for everyone in your family."

Purchase from Australia (Tentworld)

Purchase from Australia (BCF)

Browse different models of binoculars at [Tentworld] [Wild Earth] [BCF] [Kathmandu] [DWI] [Kogan] [Amazon USA]

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Grey Butcherbird - Cracticus torquatus

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