Australian Magpie

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Australian Magpie

Cracticus tibicen


Lives in family groups. The breeding season lasts from June through to December but usually occurs from August-October. Builds a nest in the fork of slender upper tree branches, 5-20 m high. Clutch size is 1-6 eggs and is incubated by the female for 20 days. Young are fed by the female and occasionally the male. The male defends the territory. Young fledge at 28 days. Some individuals become aggressive and swoop intruders during the breeding season.


Details Description
Type
Bird
Group
Magpie
Former Scientific Name
Gymnorhina tibicen
Other Common Names
Black-backed Magpie, White-backed Magpie, Western Magpie
Identifying Characteristics

Largest species of butcherbird (37-44 cm). Black and white plumage. Nape, upper tail and shoulder white in males and grey in females. Chestnut brown eye. Bill tapers from a deep, broad, white base to a sharp narrow, dark point.

Distinctive Markings

In the south-east, extreme south west and Tasmania the back and rump are white. In areas of the Northern Territory and Western Australia, the black feathers have white margins.

Diet

Omnivore. Searches on the ground for insects and insect larvae. Will feed from human scraps.

Habitat

Usually eucalypt woodland close to tree-lined rivers, partly cleared land. Adapted to parks and playing fields. Avoids dense forests and arid deserts.

Native Status
Native to Australia
Sounds
Rich, varied carolling with notes ranging from high to low. In alarm, loud harsh "squaark".
Taxonomy
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Passeriformes
Family
Artamidae
Genus
Cracticus
Species
tibicen
Found across most of Australia except the tip of Cape York, the Gibson and Great Sandy desert and south-western Tasmania.

Distribution maps indicate current and historic locations where species have been sighted.

Source: Atlas of Living Australia

Conservation Status
DEPI Advisory List
Not listed
FFG Act
Not listed
EPBC Act
Not listed

The conservation status of species is listed within Victoria and Australia.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industry (DEPI) Advisory List consists of non-statutory advisory lists of rare or threatened flora and fauna within Victoria.

The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act) lists threatened species in Victoria. Under the Act, an Action Statement is produced for each listed species.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s key piece of environmental legislation, listing nationally threatened native species and ecological communities.

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