Hungry currawong

Photograph of pied currawong eating spare cat food

I know we shouldn’t feed the pied currawongs, but they actually came looking for food today. There wasn’t any. But when I put some out, this chap returned a few minutes later — scoffing a few while keeping a wary eye for the cats dozing only a few metres away, then taking a few spare nuggets back for the juveniles in their tree.

11 Replies to “Hungry currawong”

  1. Just a few minutes ago, the currawong appeared. I was sitting at the kitchen table. He hopped into the same balcony rail to look for food. There was none.

    Slowly, quietly, I grabbed a small handful of food and opened the door. He wasn’t alarmed, just observant. When I was about 2 metres away, he hopped away along the rail, and then onto the neighbour’s garage roof just a few metres further away — watching me all the time.

    I put the food on the rail and retreated into the house, though to a spot where he could still see me.

    After just a minute he hopped pack, looked me in the eye, and cautiously grabbed a few nuggets.

    Artermis, the hunter cat that she is — she brought us another freshly-killed rat this morning — she saw this all and started stalking forward. The currawong saw her, but I halted her and the currawong returned to the food, grabbing one more pellet.

    But then Artemis ran. The currawong was gone within seconds.

    However he just retreated to the fence about 5 metres away, and watched. I think that if the cat had gone away, or relaxed, he’d have returned. He’s becoming more confident by the day and now knows that I’ll bring food if he apears.

    And then the neighbour loudly opened her back door, and the currawong was gone.

    For today, anyway…

    1. I have a pet Currawong they are the most fantastic birds i have come across she is very smart and loves our family My Mrs Wong sits on my sholder and all she is a beautiful bird and i have had her form finding her out bush when she was a very small baby keep feeding the Wong’s I think Australia have them all wrong the are loving not nasty birds and we should be more educated on them i recon 4 out 10 people know what one is and every one else says never heard of a currawong before another one of mother natures beauty’s… regard Annalise

    2. @Annalise: I’m intrigued! How did Mrs Wong come to be your pet? The currawongs who are gradually getting used to the food we put out seem very hesitant! Or are we just being impatient?

  2. My kitten (Warney) caught it’s first bird on the weekend, an Indian Minor. I was so proud!

    Now he’s got a second bell though, don’t want him getting near the native Lorakeets that hang around.

  3. @Moses: So far Artemis has managed moths, sparrows, a baby noisy miner, rats and a marsh frog — which she soon spat out once it filler her mouth with poison. She’s aching to catch a currawong but I reckon she doesn’t stand a hope in hell. They’re too smart. And lorikeets are too fast.

  4. @Cassie ST: Oddly enough, just as I received the email notifying me of your comment, I looked up and saw that very same currawong having his/her afternoon mouthfuls of cat food. Yes, they’ve got us trained. And they’re smart enough to watch for a while to ensure the cats are asleep before hopping down onto the rail.

  5. We have a family of currawongs coming to feed in our balcony. We put out some mince meat in small balls and they love it, but talking to someone from WIRES the other day I learned that we shouldn’t be feeding them at all as what we put out lacks all the nutrients they need (ie calcium) and is not a good idea to feel wild animals… But I reckon that if we feed these currawongs they will not be eating baby wrens of finches or even possums….

    Does any one have any ideas on how to provide the calcium for the currawongs? Could we add some powdered milk to the raw mince?? Thanks.

  6. @Dolores Neilley: This blog post is now more than three years old, so I suspect the traffic levels are now minuscule. Still, let’s see if anyone has some suggestions. Not that we’re meant to do this at all, of course…

  7. I have a “pet,familiar” you could say. I little Currowong, completely black. He sits on a fence nearby every morning and waits for me to come past on my way to school. I catch grasshoppers for him, as this is what he is always after. I take my hat off and hold it out to him, he jumps in and we go for walks, he’s very cute and excitable. We first met when i was mowing the lawn, he was catching all the bug that were now visible in the short grass. Currowongs are really great creatures i must say.

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