Thursday, January 10, 2013

MEGAFAUNA - A 45cm Grey Butcherbird chick lost and alone



MEGAFAUNA MEANS REALLY LARGE. However, it seems that some species of birds are getting larger and during the month of December 2012 I have seen 3 individuals of 3 separate species that are larger than normal. This post is about my first sighting - of a large Grey Butcherbird juvenile.

My first sighting of this bird was on the 18th December 2012 at 9:03AM when I took this video. The bird happened to land on my neighbour Carol's clothes line then was attacked by a young Grey Fantail. Grey Butcherbirds are 24-30 centimetres in length and Pied Butcherbirds are on average 32cms in length. Pied Butcherbirds are common in Tenterfield and they are relatively small but Grey Butcherbirds are not common here anymore. They are both smaller than the local Australian Magpies.

This young juvenile bird was much larger than a standard sized Grey Butcherbird. It was the size of a Laughing Kookaburra - 45cms in length. This larger than normal young chick has been flying around the area frantically calling out to it's parents and continued to do so for more than a week afterward. Why it was separated from it's parents is anyone's guess. It is, I believe, still in the area as of 10th January 2012 (today). The bird appears to be able to fend for itself but it does not like being chased by smaller birds. I have not seen an adult Grey Butcherbird in the area since this video was taken on the 19th December 2012. The last time I saw an adult Grey Butcherbird was about 12 months ago.

N.B. 31 January 2013 - This is actually a Pied Butcherbird not a Grey Butcherbird.

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