Song of the Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica)

The Grey Shrike-thrush is a rather drab-looking bird, but what it lacks in bright plumage it makes up for many times over in colourful song; note its specific name harmonica. Indeed, some early Australian bird books call it the Harmonious Shrike-thrush. Grey Shrike-thrushes have a variety of distinctive calls and are well-known to country folk, as they are quite at home in the shed and around the house, often becoming quite tame. And that’s often where their fledgelings are raised, acquainting them with human presence from an early age. They are common, year-round residents in this forest and landscape.

This year a pair of Shrike-thrushes and their two fledged young have been engaging in their familial antics and squabbles in the shrubs and trees around our house. This isn’t their normal melodic song, but a dynamic and at times heated conversation.

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