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 the Birds of Australia, Nicolas Day, Ken Simpson, Peter Trusler Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Nicolas Day, Ken Simpson, Peter Trusler.This is known to birdwatchers as "Simpson and Day". I like the pictures in this one the best out of all the major field guides. The information is still very highly regarded compared to most of the other guides. Many serious birdwatchers think "Pizzey and Knight" (listed here) is the best though. I bought this one since I liked the pictures so much I figured (correctly) that I would spend more time looking through it. I feel that I made the right choice since I love the pictures in this one so much. I have the 6th edition, the current one is the updated version of the 8th edition, which has a different colour cover to the original 8th edition with a black cover. I'm not sure why they haven't called this the 9th edition.

Purchase 8th ed. updated from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase 8th ed. updated from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase 8th ed. updated from Australia (Dymocks)

Click here to purchase 8th ed. updated version from Australia (The Nile)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to purchase 8th ed. original version from Amazon


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)

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Grey Butcherbird - Cracticus torquatus

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