Sunday, 10 November 2013

Young of the Year

It's that time of year again. The Black Butcherbirds, Craticus quoyi,  have fledged their young. This year there are two juveniles that will be raiding nests and creating havoc in the local animal community.
[Juvenile Black Butcherbirds are brown. Why? Who knows?]
These two have discovered that there are easy picking early in the morning at the light sheet. Large bitey long-horned beetles offer little resistance.
The hooked tip of the bill is ideal for catching and holding prey. Unfortunately, their depredations don't end with insects. They are major predators of the young of Sunbirds. They await the time when the young birds fledge and they capture them on their first flight.

Butcherbirds redeem themselves with their melodic and beautiful calls. They are a wonderful feature of the fantastic down chorus in the rainforest and environs. This species extends north to New Guinea.

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