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Geoff Gates


Scientific Name: Grallina cyanoleuca

Description: The Magpie-lark is a distinctively marked black and white bird. The male has a black throat and white eye-brow while the female has a white throat and no eye-brow. The young birds, for about the first 3 months of their lives, have a white eye-brow and a white throat.

Known as a Peewee or Mudlark in some parts of Australia, the Magpie-lark has adapted well to living with humans. It can be found in parks and open areas where it forages for worms and insects. The robust nest, made of mud and rootlets, is placed on a sturdy horizontal branch of a gum tree or other tall tree, and is aggressively defended. Mated pairs will often duet, with one bird calling and the other immediately answering antiphonally – the birds rhythmically opening and raising their wings in time with the song. They feed on insects and their larvae, as well as earthworms and aquatic invertebrates.

Type: Bird
Where to find: most areas, including urban places.
Size: 30cm