Pied butcherbird Cracticus nigrogularis, photographed by Michael Schmid.

Belongs within: Corvides.

The Cracticidae include the butcherbirds and currawongs, relatively large omnivorous passerines found in Australia and New Guinea. Cracticids are often strikingly coloured, and are noted for their songs. The currawongs of the genus Strepera are generally larger and more elongate in body form than other members of the family.

Characters (from the Internet Bird Collection): Medium-sized to large passerines, most with longish wings, long tail, long and generally stout bill with hooked tip, ground-foraging species short-tailed; plumage black and white, sometimes with grey.

<==Cracticidae [Cracticinae, Streperidae]JT12
    |--Strepera Lesson 1831JT12, B94 [Streperinae]
    |    |--S. cuneicaudataB08
    |    |--S. fuliginosaJT12
    |    |--S. graculinaJT12
    |    |    |--S. g. graculina [incl. S. g. nebulosa, S. g. robinsoni]M03
    |    |    |--S. g. crissalisM03
    |    |    `--S. g. magnirostrisM03
    |    `--S. versicolor (Latham 1801) [=Corvus versicolor]WS48
    |         |--S. v. versicolorWS48
    |         |--S. v. argutaM03
    |         |--S. v. halmaturinaM03
    |         |--S. v. intermediaM03
    |         |--S. v. melanopteraM03
    |         `--S. v. plumbea Gould 1846WS48
    `--+--Gymnorhina Gray 1840BKB15, CC10 [Gymnorhininae]
       |    |--*G. tibicen (Latham 1802)CC10 [=Coracias tibicenCC10, Cracticus tibicenCC10]
       |    |    |--G. t. tibicen [incl. G. t. terraereginae]M03
       |    |    |--G. t. eylandtensisM03
       |    |    |--G. t. hypoleuca (Gould 1837) [=Cracticus hypoleucus]CC10
       |    |    |--G. t. leuconota Gould 1844M03, CC10
       |    |    `--G. t. longirostris Milligan 1903WS48
       |    `--G. dorsalis Campbell 1894WS48 [=G. tibicen dorsalisM03, Cracticus tibicen dorsalisSJ85]
       `--Cracticus Vieillot 1816BKB15, B94 [incl. Barita Cuvier 1816B94; Baritidae, Baritinae]
            |--C. cassicusJT12
            |--‘Barita’ destructorB66
            |--C. louisiadensisJT12
            |--C. mentalisJT12
            |--C. nigrogularis (Gould 1837)WS48 (see below for synonymy)
            |--C. quoyiBKB15
            |    |--C. q. quoyiM03
            |    |--C. q. alectoM03
            |    |--C. q. jardiniM03
            |    |--C. q. rufescensM03
            |    `--C. q. spaldingiM03
            |--C. robustusR87
            `--C. torquatus (Latham 1801) [=Lanius torquatus]WS48
                 |--C. t. torquatusWS48
                 |--C. t. argenteus Gould 1840WS48
                 |--C. t. cinereusM03
                 |--C. t. collettiM03
                 |--C. t. latens Ford 1979PCC13
                 `--C. t. leucopterus Gould 1848WS48

Cracticus nigrogularis (Gould 1837)WS48 [=Vanga nigrogularisWS48; incl. C. nigrogularis coongani Mathews 1923WS48, C. nigrogularis kalgoorli Mathews 1912WS48, C. nigrogularis picatusM03, C. nigrogularis tormenti Mathews 1912WS48]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B66] Bartlett, A. D. 1866. Notes on the breeding of several species of birds in the Society’s gardens during the year 1865. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 76–79.

[B94] Bock, W. J. 1994. History and nomenclature of avian family-group names. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 222: 1–281.

[B08] Brittlebank, C. C. 1908. The life-history of Loranthus exocarpi Behr. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 33: 650–656, pls 15–20.

[CC10] Checklist Committee (OSNZ). 2010. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand, Norfolk and Macquarie Islands, and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica 4th ed. Ornithological Society of New Zealand and Te Papa Press: Wellington.

[JT12] Jetz, W., G. H. Thomas, J. B. Joy, K. Hartmann & A. Ø. Mooers. 2012. The global diversity of birds in space and time. Nature 491: 444–448.

[M03] Morcombe, M. 2003. Field Guide to Australian Birds 2nd ed. Steve Parish Publishing.

[PCC13] Pearson, D. J., M. A. Cowan & W. Caton. 2013. The avifauna of larger islands along the Kimberley coast, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 81: 125–144.

[R87] Ramsay, E. P. 1887. List of Western Australian birds collected by Mr. Cairn, and Mr. W. H. Boyer-Bower, at Derby and its vicinity, with remarks on the species. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (4): 1085–1100.

[SJ85] Storr, G. M., & R. E. Johnstone. 1985. Field Guide to the Birds of Western Australia 2nd ed. Western Australian Museum: Perth (Australia).

[WS48] Whittell, H. M., & D. L. Serventy. 1948. A systematic list of the birds of Western Australia. Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Special Publication 1: 1–126.

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