Black plumage with glossy iridescent greenish/blue sheen, and not very obvious scattered small spots on neck and upper breast, giving a spangled appearance. Strong black bill with bristles around base, bright red eye. Often seen on a perch flicking the out curved ‘fishtail’. The call is a loud, harsh, rasping scissorlike sound with a metallic-sounding voice. Can mimic other birds.
Often solitary or in pairs, they feed mainly on insects taken on the wing, while foraging on trunks or foliage of trees for spiders, beetles or other small prey. Often harasses other birds, even raptors. Sometimes takes nestlings and small birds.
Nest is a delicate deep basket of twigs, plant stems and spiders’ webs attached to horizontal fork of outer branches. Both birds share in incubating and care for the young.
Places to Look
Open woodlands, vine thickets, edges of rainforests, mangroves, beachside parks and gardens. Palmetum, Townsville. Muller’s Lagoon, Bowen.
- Coastal Birds of the Burdekin Dry Tropics
- Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club)
NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.
This is a legacy website. Content is not being updated but is kept as an archive.
Updated NRM information is now held in the NQ Dry Tropics NRM Information Portal at http://nrm.nqdrytropics.com.au/.
while corporate information about NQ Dry Tropics is held on our main website at http://www.nqdrytropics.com.au