Grey Butcherbird

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Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus). Photo: James Booth — Natureshare

The Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus) gets its name from its habit of hanging uneaten food in the forks of branches or twigs in trees and may be found in local parks and gardens.

The Grey Butcherbird is found in forests, suburban parklands and wooded areas across most of Australia. Its wings and back are grey with a white underbelly and band around the neck. The head is black with dark eyes, a large beak with a distinctive hook at the end.

The Grey Butcherbird eats a wide variety of food from insects, fruits and seeds and small vertebrate animals such as other birds and reptiles.

It has a lovely song, which is its most distinctive feature.

There are a range of local indigenous shrubs that can help attract and protect the Grey Butcherbird, including the Black She-oak (Allocasuarina littoralis).

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Black She-oak (Allocasuarina littoralis). Photo: James Booth — Natureshare

The Black She-oak is a medium-sized tree which is moderately fast growing. This upright, almost conical form makes it a substitute for European conifers.

The tree becomes covered in tiny, orange flowers in autumn to winter. The Black She-oak requires well-drained soils and lives in full sun or partial shade.

Height: four to eight metres
Width: two to five metres
Flowers: March–June

Your local indigenous nursery will be able to assist you with other indigenous plants that also help attract insects which are a source of food.