|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Chordates (Chordata) - Birds (Aves)|
|Order:||Perching Birds (Passeriformes)|
|Family:||Crow (Artamidae) iNaturalist Observation|
|Species:||Black-winged Currawong (Strepera versicolor ssp melanoptera)|
Thank you Antoni Camozzato for identifying this species for us
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.
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.
While we recognised they are Strepera versicolor, Antoni took us to sub-species. He 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!