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currawongs

Currawongs are a large, predominantly black-coloured bird that is reasonably common in tree-filled areas of Australian urban areas, like Melbourne. It is a type of Artamidae, closely related to magpies and butcherbirds. It looks extremely similar to the Australian raven, but can be distinguished by the fact that it generally has a white undertail, and that its eyes are yellow, whereas ravens’ eyes are white. Currawongs are also a little smaller, at about 48cm long, but that only really helps if you’re looking at a currawong and a raven side-by-side.

Currawongs live up in trees and generally prefer to conduct their foraging well above the ground; as such they coexist peacefully with magpies, who are ground-foragers. However, they are quite territorial against other birds who they do perceive as battling for the same territory, be those birds different species or other currawongs. They’re omnivorous, eating a diet of fruits, insects, nuts, seeds, and occasionally small animals. They can also be scavengers, especially in the colder months, when they’re more likely to be seen in urban areas or near humans.