Grey Butcherbird - Cracticus torquatus

Grey Butcherbird

Cracticus torquatus

Family: Artamidae (Woodswallows, Butcherbirds, Currawongs, 15 species in Australia)
Size: 24-30 cm
Distribution: Approximately the southern half of Australia, most of QLD except the extreme northwest, only the southernmost part of NT.
Status: Common to locally uncommon
Habitat: Open forest, woodland, mallee, urban, farmland
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

The grey butcherbird is a small bird in the same family as magpies and currawongs. It has a lovely song, which is its most distinctive feature. It is often heard in the lower and mid Blue Mountains. There is also a pied butcherbird which is black and white coloured.

It has a pronounced hook at the end of its beak that can be seen up close.

Grey Butcherbird - Cracticus torquatus
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW.

Grey Butcherbird - Cracticus torquatus
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW.

Grey Butcherbird - Cracticus torquatus
Artwork: John Gould, 'The Birds of Australia', 1848. Original Scanned Image.

Some Birdwatching Resources


Field Guide to Australian Birds, by Michael Morcombe Field Guide to Australian Birds, by Michael Morcombe. This one has colour drawings of the eggs and the nests which not many other field guides do (I can't think of any that do). It's an excellent field guide and one of the four main ones (the other three being above this one). The weakness of this field guide is that some of the pictures of the birds aren't as good (or accurate) as the other three most used field guides. It's also the heaviest though there is a pocket edition which is much smaller and lighter.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)


Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, Peter Slater, Pat Slater and Raoul Slater Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, Peter Slater, Pat Slater and Raoul Slater. This is a smaller field guide, and its advantage is it is easy to carry around. Its size is 21.3 x 11.4 x 2.8 centimetres, or 8.4 x 4.5 x 1.1 inches in the old scale. So it is a good one to get if you want to have your field guide with you out in the field. Unlike most of the field guides it also has illustrations of the eggs of all the birds that breed in Australia. It has very good reviews on Amazon.

Click here to Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Click here to purchase from Australia (The Nile) $28.45 AUD (May be unavailable)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond) May be expensive.

Click here to purchase from Amazon

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

Return to Australian Birds
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