Wednesday, 24 August 2011


Struthidea cinerea

Photo by Steve Happ (Steve Happ Photography)

Common name:
apostlebird (en); apóstolo (pt); apôtre gris (fr); corvino apóstol (es); gimpelhäher (de)
Order Passeriformes
Family Corcoracidae
This species is found across inland eastern Australia, from northern Victoria and eastern South Australia, north through New South Wales and central-western Queensland to the Gulf Country. There is an isolated population in the Northern Territory.
The apostlebird is 29-47 cm long and weighs 110-130 g.
These birds are mostly found in grassland and open eucalyptus woodlands.

The apostlebird forages on the ground, eating mainly insects and seeds, namely grasshoppers, weevils, shield-bugs, and ants. They may ocasionally eat small rodents.
These birds breed in August-January. They are cooperative breeders, forming familial social groups of up to 20 members, consisting of a dominant male, several females, and juveniles from previous seasons. All group members help building the nests, cups made of mud and placed on horizontal limbs up to 12 m above the ground. Each female lays 2-8 pale bluish eggs with black or gray splotches, which are incubated by all group members for 18-19 days. The chicks are raised by the the whole group and fledge 18-29 days after hatching.
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, the species is described as common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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