Black-winged Currawong
Adult, ventral
Ellura
Black-winged Currawong
In Flight
 
    
Black-winged Currawong (Strepera versicolor ssp melanoptera)Class: Animals (Animalia) - Chordates (Chordata) - Birds (Aves)
Order: Perching Birds (Passeriformes)
Family: Crow (Artamidae)
Species: Black-winged Currawong (Strepera versicolor ssp melanoptera)
This Photo:     Adult, head

Thank you Antoni Camozzato for helping with the identification of this species

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), the Adelaide Hills and elsewhere
A brilliant yellow eye helps identify this large black bird.
White can be visible when flying, and so easily confused with a White-winged Chough.
However, it is often solitary or occasionally in a small (3) family group; unlike Chough's which show a lot more white and are almost always in a large (10-20) flock.
Very timid.
Once a year, around spring, they seem to gather and stay in a large flock (10-20 birds). We think it is a form of a nursery. They constantly call to each other as they travel around the reserve; not resting in one place for long.
Antoni said "this is the subspecies found in our local area, from around Adelaide east to westernmost NSW and Victoria. Visually, melanoptera can be distinguished from other subspecies by their mostly black plumage (rather than grey) and the near/complete absence of a white patch at the base of their primary feathers which gives them their common name. S. v. halmaturina also shares these features but is found only on Kangaroo Island. Elsewhere in SA, there's also intermedia or the Brown Currawong (Yorke and Eyre Peninsulas) and plumbea (western SA into WA)."
Well that explains the reason ours are so black! We've know they were Grey Currawongs for a long time, but didn't understand the differences in sub-species.

Copyright © 2014- Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 04-Sep-2014
This species is classed as NT (Near Threatened) in the Murray Mallee, SA, by DENR (Regional Species Status Assessments, July 2010)