Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike

Did you know?

Cuckoo-shrikes are neither cuckoos nor shrikes, but are so called becaues their feathers have similar patterns to those of cuckoos and their beak shape resembles that of shrikes.

Calls
The call most often heard is a soft churring, often being described as a warbling "creearck".
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
No
Minimum Size: 
32cm
Maximum Size: 
34cm
Average size: 
33cm
Average weight: 
112g
Breeding season: 
August to February; varies in more arid areas
Nestling Period: 
21 days
Conservation Status
Federal: 
NSW: 
NT: 
QLD: 
SA: 
TAS: 
VIC: 
WA: 
Basic Information
Scientific Name: 
Featured bird groups: 
Atlas Number: 
424
What does it look like?
Description: 

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes have a black face and throat, blue-grey back, wings and tail, and white underparts. They are slender, attractive birds. They have a curious habit of shuffling their wings upon landing, a practice that gave rise to the name "Shufflewing", which is often used for this species. This shuffling is also carried out by most other species in this family. Young birds resemble the adults, except the black facial mask is reduced to an eye stripe.

Similar species: 

Young Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes may be confused with the White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina papuenis, which also has a black eye stripe. However, this species is much smaller (26 - 28 cm).

Where does it live?
Distribution: 

The Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike is widespread and common. Outside the breeding season, large family groups and flocks of up to a hundred birds form.

Habitat: 

The Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike is found in almost any wooded habitat, with the exception of rainforests. It is also familiar in many suburbs, where birds are often seen perched on overhead wires or television aerials.

Seasonal movements: 

Partially nomadic; some northwards migrations.

What does it do?
Feeding: 

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes feed on insects and other invertebrates. These may be caught in the air, taken from foliage or caught on the ground. In addition to insects, some fruits and seeds are also eaten.

Breeding: 

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes may mate with the same partner each year, and may use the same territories year after year. The nest is remarkably small for the size of the bird. It is a shallow saucer of sticks and bark, bound together with cobwebs. Both partners construct the nest and care for the young birds.

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