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Artamus | Cracticus | Gymnorhina | Currawong

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Gymnorhina tibicen - Australian Magpie.
Gymnorhina tibicen - Australian Magpie.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Artamidae
Vigors, 1825

The family Artamidae gathers together 20 species of mostly crow-like birds native to Australasia and nearby areas.

There are two subfamilies: Artaminae, the woodswallows, are sombre-coloured, soft-plumaged birds that have a brush-tipped tongue but seldom use it for gathering nectar. Instead, they catch insects on the wing. They are agile flyers with large, pointed wings and are among the very few passerine birds that soar. One sedentary species aside, they are nomads, following the best conditions for flying insects, and often roosting in large flocks.

The cracticids—currawongs, Magpie, and butcherbirds, subfamily Cracticinae—are more obviously members of the broader corvid group. They have large, straight bills and mostly black, white or grey plumage. All are omnivorous to some degree: the butcherbirds mostly eat meat, Magpies usually forage through short grass looking for worms and other small creatures, currawongs are true omnivores, taking fruit, grain, meat, insects, eggs and nestlings.

The cracticids, despite their fairly plain, utilitarian appearance, are highly intelligent and have extraordinarily beautiful songs of great subtlety. Particularly noteworthy are the Pied Butcherbird, the Pied Currawong and the Australian Magpie.

Species of Artamidae

  • Subfamily Artaminae
    • Ashy Woodswallow, Artamus fuscus
      Fiji Woodswallow, Artamus mentalis
      White-backed Woodswallow, Artamus monachus
      Great Woodswallow, Artamus maximus
      White-breasted Woodswallow, Artamus leucorynchus
      Bismarck Woodswallow, Artamus insignis
      Masked Woodswallow, Artamus personatus
      White-browed Woodswallow, Artamus superciliosus
      Black-faced Woodswallow, Artamus cinereus
      Dusky Woodswallow, Artamus cyanopterus
      Little Woodswallow, Artamus minor
  • Subfamily Cracticinae:
    • Mountain Peltops, Peltops montanus
      Lowland Peltops, Peltops blainvillii
      Black Butcherbird, Cracticus quoyi
      Grey Butcherbird, Cracticus torquatus
      Hooded Butcherbird, Cracticus cassicus
      Tagula Butcherbird, Cracticus louisiadensis
      Black-backed Butcherbird, Cracticus mentalis
      Pied Butcherbird, Cracticus nigrogularis
      Pied Currawong, Strepera graculina
      Black Currawong, Strepera fuliginosa
      Grey Currawong, Strepera versicolor
      Australian Magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen

External links

Home | Up | Artamidae | Atrichornithidae | Callaeidae | Campephagidae | Cinclosomatidae | Climacteridae | Corcorachidae | Corvidae | Dicruridae | Icteridae | Irenidae | Laniidae | Malaconotidae | Maluridae | Meliphagoidea | Menuridae | Neosittidae | Oriolidae | Orthonychidae | Pachycephalidae | Paradisaeidae | Pardalotidae | Petroicidae | Pityriaseidae | Pomatostomidae | Prionopidae | Ptilonorhynchidae | Turnagridae | Vangidae | Vireonidae

Birds Guide, made by MultiMedia | Free content and software

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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