Family Woodswallows and Butcherbirds (Artamidae)

Least Concern

Hooded Butcherbird (Cracticus cassicus)


French: Cassican à tête noire German: Papuakrähenstar Spanish: Verdugo cabecinegro

Ramphastos cassicus


, 1783,

New Guinea


Sister relationship with C. louisiadensis strongly supported by molecular data#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. cassicus (Boddaert, 1783) – Gebe I (N Moluccas), West Papuan Is (Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, Misool), New Guinea and satellite islands (except those off SE coast), and Aru Is.
  • C. c. hercules Mayr, 1940 – Trobriand Is (Kailuna, Kiriwana and Kitawa) and D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago (Goodenough, Fergusson and Normanby), off SE New Guinea.
  • Descriptive notes

    32–35 cm; 130–155 g. Rather large butcherbird with black head and throat, and strong bill slightly hooked at tip. Nominate race has head and neck down to upper... read more


    One of finest singers in family, but not studied in detail. Song described as loud jumble of... read more


    Lowland forest and dense second growth, often near human habitation, to c. 650 m. Occurs in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on large insects, larvae, spiders (Araneae) and fruit; also takes small vertebrates, including birds. Forages mostly in crowns of... read more


    Not well known. Many single records of nests suggest that breeding may occur at any time, with preference for late dry season. Reported... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and common. Although present throughout most of New Guinea, and able to live in areas of human habitation, extensive logging of lowland... read more

    Recommended citation

    Russell, E. & Rowley, I. (2020). Hooded Butcherbird (Cracticus cassicus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 February 2020).