Habitat and Ecology
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
The grey butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus) is a widely distributed species endemic to Australia. The grey butcherbird occurs in a range of different habitats including arid, semi-arid and temperate zones. It has a characteristic "rollicking" birdsong. It appears to be adapting well to city living, and can be encountered in the suburbs of many Australian cities including Sydney and Brisbane. The grey butcherbird preys on small vertebrates including other birds.
Closely related species include the silver-backed butcherbird (Cracticus argenteus) and the black-backed butcherbird (Cracticus mentalis). The silver-backed butcherbird (Cracticus argenteus) from Arnhem Land and northwestern Australia over to Port Hedland, originally described by John Gould in 1841, was later deemed to be a subspecies of the grey butcherbird. Recently, however, it has again been re-described as a separate species. The silver-backed butcherbird has two subspecies C. argenteus argenteus and C. a. colletti. The black-backed butcherbird occurs in Australia on the Cape York Peninsula and in Papua New Guinea and has two subspecies.
The grey butcherbird has three subspecies:
- C. t. torquatus in south-east Australia.
- C. t. cinereus is restricted to the island of Tasmania.
- C. t. leucopterus is widespread; its distribution stretches from the west to the east coast of Australia.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Cracticus torquatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Schodde, Richard; Mason, I.J. (1999). The Directory of Australian Birds : Passerines. A Taxonomic and Zoogeographic Atlas of the Biodiversity of Birds in Australia and its Territories. Collingwood, Australia: CSIRO Publishing. ISBN 9780643102934.