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Pied Butcherbird - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Tom Tarrant
Lake Samsonvale, SE Queensland, Australia, October 2003

Alternative names: Black-throated Butcherbird; Black-throated Crow-Shrike

Cracticus nigrogularis


Photo © by tcollins
Kunnunarra WA, Australia, June 2010

28–32 cm (11-12½ in). A fairly large Butcherbird.

  • Full black hood
  • Black throat
  • White collar
  • Mostly black upperparts with large patches of white on the wings and rump
  • White rest of underparts
  • Dark brown eye
  • Long, hooked, grey and black bill
  • Black legs

Sexes are identical (females sometimes duller black or blackish-brown), male is slightly larger than the female.
Young Pied Butcherbirds are generally duller than the adults are. The areas of black are replaced with brown and white areas are washed with buff. The birds also have an ill-defined bib, which becomes more distinct with age.


Only found in Australia.
Locally common.


Forms a superspecies with Tagula Butcherbird and Hooded Butcherbird.


Photo © by David Sergeant
Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia

Two subspecies recognized[1]:

  • C. n. picatus:
  • C. n. nigrogularis:


Forests and woodlands and often approaches parks and houses.



Feeds mainly on insects but takes also small vertebrates (like reptiles, mammals, frogs or birds), also some seeds, fruit and nectar.
Forages on the ground after perching from a vantage point.


Breeding season from August to December, sometimes also at other times of the year. The female makes the bowl shaped nest of sticks, twigs, grasses in a tree fork. 2-4 eggs are laid.


A sedentary species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Feb 2018)

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