Australian Magpie

Scientific Name: 
Gymnorhina tibicen

41 cm, 350 g. Large black and white bird with pale blue black-tipped bill. White-backed form has hind neck and back white in male finely barred grey in female. Black-backed form (mostly in Hawke''s Bay), has black back; hind neck white in male, finely barred grey in female. Juvenile like female, but underparts brownish grey and bill dark. Hybrids have variable black on back. Flight direct, with pointed wings and rapid shallow wingbeats. Feeds on the ground, sometimes in loose flocks. Song distinctive flute-like carolling, especially at dawn and dusk, rendered ''quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle''. Habitat: Open farmland with tall shelterbelts and scattered trees or forest, parks and gardens. Breeding: Jul-Dec.

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