We have been observing the Tawny Frogmouth family again during the week at the same park in Broome. The juvenile birds are growing fast and less interested in people in the park. Each day they now roost in a different tree, so we don’t always see them.
There are also two Pied Butcherbird families in the park and they are also growing fast. Pied Butcherbirds are renowned for their melodic sounds, but that can’t be said for the juvenile birds. The sound the juvenile Pied Butcherbirds make as they beg for food is so persistent it can be unbearable for any length of time! The adult Pied Butcherbirds like to sit high up in some of the trees and sing away. They are often the first bird that we hear at home in the garden and also when we are camping. During full moon nights we often hear them singing away during the night.
The header photo is of an adult Pied Butcherbird. It was trying hard to ignore the constant begging of the two juvenile birds in the same tree. It then began to preen and the juveniles did not give up calling out!
Adult Pied Butcherbird preening
The two juvenile Pied Butcherbirds are well-developed and are almost the same size as the adults. The main difference is the colouration in their bibs. The bibs will change to black like their parents in due course.
Juvenile Pied Butcherbirds
The adult Pied Butcherbird ignored the persistent calling by its youngsters and eventually one of them realised it could actually just go down onto the grass and get its own food. There are some decent sized grubs about at the moment!
Juvenile Pied Butcherbird with a grub
You may well have noticed the hook on the bill of the Pied Butcherbirds. They mostly swoop down on their prey and they eat frogs and lizards around Broome. They have a slightly different song even if you only travel a few hundred kilometres from Broome. They are also quite good at mimicry.
A lot of birds have been breeding around Broome in recent months. The shorebird migration has started and it won’t be long before they are on their breeding grounds in the Northern hemisphere.
I live in Croydon, Melbourne and this is the first year I am visited by a Pied Butcherbird. It was the beautiful melodic sound that made me notice it first. Magpies, Currawongs, Blackbirds, Parrots and Rosellas are frequently seen in my back yard (I live in a unit with a small backyard) so it was a great pleasure to see my latest friend.