SPECIES: Strepera fuliginosa colei — Black Currawong (King Island)


The Black Currawong (King Island) is a species endemic to Tasmania and nearby islands in the Bass Strait. Locally known as a Black Jay, it is a large crow-like bird with yellow irises, a heavy bill, with black plumage and white tail wing patches. The Black Currawong is found in densely forested areas, however prefers to forage on the ground, and roosts and breeds in trees. This species was one first described by John Gould in 1836 when he surveyed the birds and mammals of Australia.

The King Island species of Black Currawong is slightly smaller with shorter wings and tail. Given their appearance, they are only distantly related to true crows, yet more closely related to the Australian Magpie and Butcherbirds. Black Currawongs as a species are loud and vocal and make a variety of calls. They are noisy in flocks and reportedly more vocal before rain or storms.

The King Island Black Currawong is under threat from habitat clearing and it is estimated that there are only around 500 birds left in the world.

Photo: By JJ Harrison ( - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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