(Cracticus Torquatus)

Length:  28-32 cm Common

As its name suggests, this unassuming bird is a ruthless killer which impales small birds, mammals, reptiles and insects on sharp twigs, thorns and barbed wire while it pulls them apart.

The Grey Butcherbird is found throughout Australia in a wide range of wooded habitats including suburban areas. The adult Grey Butcherbird has a black crown and face, a grey back with a thin white collar. The underparts are white. Both sexes are similar in plumage but the female is slightly smaller. The blue-grey bill has a slightly hooked tip.

Males and females tend to answer calls in long melodious duets. With its lovely lilting song the Grey Butcherbird may not seem a particularly intimidating species but venture too close to its nesting site the male will swoop and fly straight to your face striking with enough force to draw blood and each swoop is followed by a loud maniacal cackle.

In the Perth area it breeds from August to November building a small untidy bowllike nest of twigs and roots lined with dry grass in the fork of tree. Three or four pale brown spotted eggs are incubated by the female and the young birds are fed by both parents.