Grey Currawong

Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor)

Last year, I photographed a Black-wing Currawong, which is a race of the Grey Currawong.   Here is a Grey Currawong for comparison.

Grey Currawong
Striding around the base of the fruit trees, this Grey Currawong looked like it was on a mission.

The Grey Currawong has light grey colouring, with black primary wing feathers and black around the yellow eye.  The bird also has white tips on the tail feathers, white tips on primary wing feathers  and white beneath the tail.  Breeding occurs between August and December in a large nest in the fork of a tree.

My attention was first drawn to the Grey Currawong when I saw cardboard strewn around our fruit trees.  We’d had some coffee grounds in boxes, waiting to be dug into the garden.  With the rain, my guess is the soggy cardboard held some tasty insects.  I photographed the Currawong throwing a piece of cardboard around to get at something beneath it.

Grey Currawong with Cardboard
Tossing a piece of cardboard around beneath the clothes line. (Painted stump/washing basket rest courtesy of the previous owner.)

A few days later, a Grey Currawong was on a tree-stump, just beside our deck, looking for food.

Grey Currawong on Stump
This shot provides a good view of the markings on the wings and tail.

For some reason, I haven’t seen a lot of Currawongs of any description, so I found the Grey Currawong fascinating to watch.  It is such a striking bird to look at with the black, grey and white markings.  So streamlined and sleek, with a very determined look.  I don’t think I would like to get in between it and whatever it had its eye set on.  With that large sharp beak, and yellow eye, it’s certainly a formidable looking bird.

Beak and Eye
I love the colour of the Grey Currawong’s face with that large sharp beak and the yellow eye set among the coal-black feathers on its face.

7 thoughts on “Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor)

  1. Hi Lisa, This is a beautiful bird! It seems to be large, and the big beak is not friendly 🙂 Per your description, the yellow eyes are very beautiful. They remind me of the corrupiao’s eyes in Brazil. Please take a look at this:
    Thanks so much for the posting! Your 15-acre place is so rich in stories, and visitors! Thanks so much for sharing your world with us! Take care! 🙂

    1. Hi Fabio, Thanks for the link to the Corrupiao – what a vivid orange/gold on the feathers! Another beautiful bird. It’s always interesting to see species we don’t have over here. Yes, the yellow eye is beautiful against the black face, and it draws immediate attention. Regarding size, I just consulted the field guide I have. Apparently the female Grey Currawong grows somewhere between 45 and 50 cm, and the male can be larger. A site I follow ‘Natural Newstead’ has a post which features photos of the Pied Currawong. So far, I haven’t noticed Pied Currawongs here. Newstead is about an hour and a half away from where we are, and Natural Newstead blog features some beautiful bird photographs.

      I’m glad you enjoy seeing the flora and fauna we have here! 🙂


      1. Hi Lisa, Thanks so much for your detailed explanations and for the blog that you have mentioned, which contains very good stuff! Per your information, the Grey Currawong is really big. Again, thanks a lot for sharing with us such treasures that you have so close to you! 🙂

  2. I have grey currawongs nesting in my garden. So far it has taken the female six weeks to build her nest. She is very fussy with which twigs she uses. I have seen her turning herself inside out to break a particular twig from a dead tree. Not happy with any old stick.

    1. Oh wow, Jill! It would be wonderful to be able to watch nest building. Mostly the nests on our place are up the back in the bush.. I’ve been lucky to see the nest created by a Grey Shrike-Thrush and the gradation from strips of rough bark on the outside, through finer bark, dried grass and the soft down on the inside. Expertly woven and so soft inside. She built the nest on top of a cupboard in our wood shed, and had used bark from the floor. We had a peek at the nest after the chicks had all fledged and it was abandoned.

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