The Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) is a medium size black and white songbird that is native and widespread across much of Australia. A familiar species, it has a beautiful flute-like song. Described as ‘one of the finest songbirds in the world’, the Pied Butcherbirds also has a mimicry of other species in their repertoire. They have also been known to mimic phones ringing, car alarms going off and dogs barking.

The males and females are the same in appearance, with males being slightly larger. The juvenile Pied Butcherbirds are duller in colour to their parents.

The Pied Butcherbird is carnivorous eating a wide variety of insects but they will also prey on small creatures such as lizards and smaller birds. Unlike raptors or crows who can hold their food with their feet, the Pied Butcherbird wedges the prey food into a forked branch or upon a thorn, before tearing it apart with its hooked beak.

Their habitat are woodlands and regions where there is plenty of water, they are also found in semi-arid regions, especially where there is access to waterholes. They are also know to frequent parks and gardens.

Common name
Pied Butcherbird, Black-throated Butcherbird, Black-throated Crow-shrike, Organ Bird, Break-o’-day-boy.

Images © Dorothy L

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Artamidae
  • Genus: Cracticus
  • Species: C. nigrogularis
  • Binomial name: Cracticus nigrogularis