Monday, March 11, 2013

I doubt this is a Noisy Friarbird

Way back on the 21st December 2012 at 10:28AM I heard a very strange noise. It was the noise of a Noisy Friarbird, so I've learnt through researching this bird's call. But thinking about this bird, whatever it was, was here just 3 days after the 45cm Pied Butcherbird arrived in the area. In all my time I have never heard this type of bird call before, and have not heard it since. It does sound somewhat remotely similiar to some of the sounds the Pied Currawongs make though.

The bird in the video was about the size of the 45cm Pied Butcherbird, and may have actually been the Pied Butcherbird for several reasons.

  1. I have never seen nor heard a Noisy Friarbird in Tenterfield and I've been here since 1995.
  2. The juvenile Pied Butcherbird, being new to the area and lost, made lots of different calls during the first month it was here. It appeared it be distressed and frightened and was alone dispite it's parent looking for it.
  3. The Pied Butcherbird juvenile is able to mimic the sounds of an Eastern Koel and other bird species quite accurately even at a very young age.
  4. This bird was being attacked by smaller birds which is what happened to the Pied Butcherbird when it arrived. It seems only the larger birds are attacked by smaller birds. Normal sized Pied Butcherbirds are not attacked by small birds in the area. I haven't seen it occur anyway.
  5. During the first few weeks of the Pied Butcherbird being here it flew frantically across Tenterfield making all kinds of noises. It was the most distinctive and vocal bird in the area at the time.
  6. If this bird were indeed a Noisy Friarbird it would have at least stayed in the area overnight before moving on. It's call would have been heard more often and I may have actually seen the bird.
  7. This bird was behaving like it was lost and frightened rather than just passing through town.


I honestly believe that this is the distress call of the Pied Butcherbird juvenile. I remember listening to this bird for several hours straight and felt totally sad that it was lost and in distress. I heard it call out like this for most of that day, relentlessly calling out in hope to be heard. I hoped that it's parents would hear it calling out but they never did. It's plight to be heard by it's parents seemed futile but it hung around the area. This bird was relentless in everything it done.

It wasn't until about week 3 that I believe the bird gave up and decided it would never see it's parents again and was homeless. So it began to settle down and got on with more important things in it's life. Those 3 weeks must've been torture for the bird as no other bird gave it peace nor comfort. No bird adopted it either. And no bird stopped chasing and attacking it when it was distressed. But the last time I saw this bird it wasn't being attacked by anything. Birds left it alone.

Why the bird had been separated from it's parents is anyone's guess really. Perhaps a raptor chased it but couldn't catch it and the bird kept flying as it was so scared until it found itself lost in Tenterfield? All I know it is not a bird from Tenterfield as there are no extremely large Pied Butcherbirds here.

I cannot help but think that if this bird becomes a parent, which it will in time, it will be very protective of it's chick/s. For some reason I think it will not let it's chicks go through what it went through. But I'm just guessing here, as I really don't know how birds react in this situation with their own chicks.

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