Family Woodswallows and Butcherbirds (Artamidae)

Least Concern

Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis)


French: Cassican à gorge noire German: Schwarzkehl-Krähenstar Spanish: Verdugo gorjinegro

Vanga nigrogularis


, 1837,

New South Wales, Australia


Races intergrade in N Queensland (SC Cape York Peninsula S to upper Georgina R and Diamantina R). Racial differentiation poor, and sometimes not accepted#R. Geographical variation partly clinal in W (race picatus), with gradual decrease in size from S to N; birds from W & C Australia sometimes recognized as race kalgoorli (Kalgoorlie, in S Western Australia), but probably part of this cline. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. n. picatus Gould, 1848 – N & W Australia E to NW Queensland, S (except in main desert areas) to S Western Australia and NW South Australia.
  • C. n. nigrogularis (Gould, 1837) – E Australia from N, C & E Queensland S to E South Australia and N Victoria (Murray R).
  • Descriptive notes

    28–32 cm; 105–159 g. Fairly large butcherbird with strongly hook-tipped robust bill. Nominate race has black head, neck and upper breast forming distinctive hood... read more


    The most beautiful song within family of accomplished singers. Three main song types: Territorial... read more


    Open forests and woodlands, mainly eucalypts (Eucalyptus) or Acacia, with open... read more

    Food and feeding

    Invertebrates, mainly insects; also small vertebrates; some seeds, fruit and nectar. No detailed studies of feeding behaviour. Forages... read more


    Laying in Aug–Dec (mostly Sept–Oct), occasionally also at other times, especially in more arid areas with unseasonal rainfall.... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common; rare in arid SW corner of Queensland and in NW New South Wales. In some areas, e.g. near Darwin (N Northern Territory), numbers have... read more

    Recommended citation

    Russell, E. & Rowley, I. (2020). Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis). 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).