Grey ButcherbirdButcherbirds are magpie-like songbirds that are native to Australasia. They were named for the way they store their prey -- hanging captured animals on a thorn, tree fork or crevice to support them while they are being eaten, or to store them for later consumption.


Distribution / Range

Butcherbirds occur throughout Australia, where they have adapted well to urbanization and can be found in leafy suburbs throughout



Butcherbirds are mid-sized birds, measuring up to 35cm in length.

The color of their plumage ranges from black-and-white to mostly black, with possibly grey plumage, depending on the species.

The bill is large, straight with a distinctive hook.


Breeding / Nesting

The average clutch consists of one or two eggs in a clutch. The chicks are often seen trailing behind the mother and "squeak" incessantly begging to be fed.


Diet / Feeding

Butcherbirds mostly feed on insects, but will also take small lizards and other prey. They will also accept scraps, such as mealworms or bread.



  • Black Butcherbird, Cracticus quoyi
  • Grey Butcherbird, Cracticus torquatus
    • Silver-Backed Butcherbird Cracticus argenteus (alternately a subspecies of C. torquatus)
  • Hooded Butcherbird, Cracticus cassicus
  • Tagula Butcherbird, Cracticus louisiadensis
  • Black-backed Butcherbird, Cracticus mentalis
  • Pied Butcherbird, Cracticus nigrogularis

Please Note: The articles or images on this page are the sole property of the authors or photographers. Please contact them directly with respect to any copyright or licensing questions. Thank you.

BeautyOfBirds strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please send us an e-mail. THANK YOU!