White-winged Choughs – Corcorax melanorhamphos are native to southern and eastern Australia and one of the bird species that is likely to suddenly make you jump when you walk through a forest. As you carefully wander through a forest keeping an eye out for any movement you may well suddenly be startled when they take off from the ground and move into the nearby trees. White-winged Choughs tend to be in quite large groups of twenty or more as they feed on the forest floor or roost in the tall trees.
When the White-winged Choughs are in the trees they do stand out due to their very black plumage and also their red eyes. The bill is very curved, similar to a European Chough. They are also vocal and have a variety of calls.
White-winged Choughs in the trees
White-winged Choughs are similar in some ways to Apostlebirds, which also move around in large groups and also make mud nests. Once you have been made aware of their presence it is quite enjoyable to just watch them move through the leaf litter. There is a lot of leaf throwing!
Leaf throwing White-winged Chough
Another observation that is worth noting is that the White-winged Choughs appear to work together moving forward through the forest in search of food.
White-winged Choughs moving together
The “white wings” are not very obvious as the White-winged Choughs move about the forest floor. However, sooner or later they do tend to move into the tree canopy and once the White-winged Choughs start to preen the white in their wings becomes apparent.
Preening White-winged Chough
If you happen to be in the southern or eastern forests of Australia be prepared for an encounter with the White-winged Choughs! Spend time with them and enjoy their antics!