Meeting the currawongs

Photograph of juvenile currawong

A family of pied currawongs lives next door. Beautiful, smart birds. Recently we’ve been leaving food out for them, and they’re happy to steal a few bites while keeping a wary eye for the cats.

Today one of the parents brought two of the juveniles with it. While I didn’t get the camera in time to snap the family portrait, I did sneak this picture of one of the juveniles on the neighbour’s fence.

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15 comments

  1. 'Pong’s avatar

    Making friend with them is a bit harder than Australian magpies, I find.

    1. Trekalong’s avatar

      They are terrific birds. They perch in the trees while I’m gardening and watch every move in case I put out something edible, although I don’t feed them as it might upset their diet. Or else wait for me to clean and refill the bird bath. They really love having a bath at 9:15am. In fact it comes back for a second, or is that its mate. They often have a juvenile. I think ours at Ryde are the bigger Black Currawongs with no while feathers. Once they teamed up with some Myners and chased our neighbours KARAT up the side path. I almost got knocked over by either the cat or the flock of low flying birds.

    2. Stilgherrian’s avatar

      For those who care about such things, this phoo was taken with our Nikon D70 camera, Nikkor AF-G 70-300mm lens. The settings were 800ASA 300mm f5.6 1/320s, but the final picture was cropped.

      @’Pong: Magpies do seem to befriend humans more easily. Maybe it’s because they spend more time walking around on the ground and feel safer there. This is pure speculation.

      I was going to link to some of your photos of currawongs, but can’t find any online. I will instead link to the bird pics in your old photoblog.

      @Trekalong: We probably shouldn’t leave out crunchy cat food for the birds, but then again they themselves choose it — and currawongs are omnivores. I’ve been thinking of installing a bird bath, but the cats might find that a useful tool for their own nefarious bird-hunting activities.

    3. Quatrefoil’s avatar

      My Mum’s got a great birdbath which foils the cat nicely — it’s a dish mounted on a single spike and is also wobbly — put a paw on the rim and it tips dousing the cat in water. Very effective, and very amusing, even if you like cats as much as I do.

    4. Danu Poyner’s avatar

      We have a family of currawongs at the back of our house (we live on a tree-lined golf course) and have been watching them for the last few months as they built a nest, sat on the eggs, got food for the babies and taught them to fly. They’re amazing, beautiful birds and very clever.

    5. Zern’s avatar

      Pied. Short crust, filo, or puff?

    6. Zern’s avatar

      But seriously, I do miss the family that used to live in the tree across from my balcony. They brought up multiple generations of big tough birds.

    7. Stilgherrian’s avatar

      It seems there is much love for the noble currawong, as there should be. We’ll be trying to get more photos of this family.

    8. 'Pong’s avatar

      I’ve just realised this post is more than one year old. I wonder if this currawong has grown up and become the same one as the one I have posted. http://www.outtospace.com/bright-eyes/

    9. Kaz’s avatar

      The date of the comments in this section does say 2009, so i don’t know if it is still going ? I have befriended a “baby Pied Currawong that comes to me when i call it. Ist off, when she came, she took food out of my fingers. Now she has found another spot in my carport and i can hold a take away container to her and she drinks water out of it. I put food in the back of her mouth when she ‘squarks’. Clean her beak if there is anything left on it, or hold it and play ‘silly dillies’ Put my arm across the front of her and she’ll happily hop on when she feels like it. I can stroke the front of her chest or down her back. I enjoy having her around.

    10. Dragonwyst’s avatar

      That’s weird! I had two of our regular lorikeets “deliver” a juvenile currawong to me today. They made ruckus on the balcony until I looked, and I filmed them showing him/her how to hop from the wire to the gutter to get a drink. The currawong then flew down to me and asked to be fed, boldly nibbling my fingers.

    11. Stilgherrian’s avatar

      @Kaz: We moved out of that house some years back, so I don’t know whether those particular currawongs are still doing that particular trick. I did get the impression that young currawongs are happy to learn new skills — such as in your delightful story.

    12. Denise’s avatar

      I love my Currawongs- such a sleek looking bird and love the Morrey Morrey call-They fend for themselves in my garden.
      But a couple of times a week I throw out on the lawn ,finely sliced peeled apple- which is supposed to be okay for their diet

    13. Denise’s avatar

      Mince apparently can rot beeks – So with butcher birds currawongs etc- finely diced steak is much better

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