Avian research September 1998
Emu September 1998 reported...
Diet of Pied Currawongs Strepera graculina
- non-breeding season: fruit from native and introduced trees
- breeding season before egg hatching: insects (91%)
- breeding season after hatching: nestlings and juvenile birds (55%)
The Social Life of the Apostlebird Struthidea cinerea
The conclusion was that Apostlebirds and White-winged Choughs Corcorax melanorhamphus have very similar social lives.
Differences include some calls and displays and the method of controlling external parasites; Apostlebirds use anting whereas White-winged Choughs pick up fine dust and place it among the feathers.
The findings of this study include:
- during the breeding season, they live in groups that range in size from 3 to 19; usually between 4 and 11 birds; each group contains only one adult pair
- all the birds in the group helped to build the nest of mud and fibrous matter - in dry seasons, the birds may substitute emu dung for mud
a number of birds take turns incubating the eggs in the nest; lay 3 or 4 eggs
- nestlings are in the nest for just less than 3 weeks and are fed by all group members
- because they can produce a number of clutches, they have the capacity to double their numbers during the breeding season
- after rain, the birds become excited and like to play with mud
feed on insects (grasshoppers, weevils, shield-bugs, ants) and seeds
fights between groups take place mainly on the ground with the birds running at each other or leaping into the air and grappling claws with an opponent
- in the nonbreeding season, feeding aggregation of up to 50 birds - not a true flock but a collection of groups