SPECIES: Strepera graculina crissalis — Lord Howe Island Currawong
Imagine not being able to control your natural instincts. Especially if the behaviour you exhibit isn’t particularly flattering. Take the Lord Howe Island Currawong as an example. Endemic to the Island, it’s a large, crow-like and incredibly smart bird – larger than the Australian Magpie. Glossy black with bright orange eyes, it has an unattractive habit of following walkers around in the forest, eyeing them off uncomfortably.
The Lord Howe Island Currawong inhabits the main island’s native subtropical rainforest and palm forest, along the creeks and in gullies. They will often build an inaccessible bowl-shaped nest of sticks and twigs high up in the outer branches of a tree.
It’s thought that there could only be 200 individual birds left. The major threat now is how small the size of the population has become in recent times. These birds are also persecuted by humans because of their creepy predatory nature. As we said to begin with, it’s their natural instinct.
Photo: courtesy Jack Shick