The Pied Butcherbird, Cracticus nigrogularis, can be distinguished from the Australian Magpie by its black head and bib separated from the black back by a complete white collar, and white underparts. It is also a smaller species. The Australian Magpie is larger and has a heavier bill than the similarly coloured Magpie-lark, Grallina cyanoleuca.
Gymnorhina tibicen or the Black-backed Magpie is the nominate race. Its back is mainly black and is widespread throughout eastern, northern and western Australia.
Gymnorhina tibicen hypoleuca or the White-Backed Magpie occupies large areas of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. It interbreeds successfully with the Black-Backed Magpie.
Australian Magpies are black and white birds that live in areas with trees, including towns and cities and bushland all over Australia. They have red-brown eyes and feet with one toe facing backwards and three toes facing forwards.
Australian Magpies walk along the ground and search for insects like grasshoppers during the day. They jab their strong, straight, triangular white beak into the ground, looking for worms and grubs to eat. They swallow small insects whole but use their beak to break up larger food items before eating them.
This is a virus which is magpie species specific but can infest butcher bird, black faced cockoo shrike.
Canarys have there own species of the pox virus and the two are not the same.
It is spread by mosquitos and due to the population of current Magpies being basically a virgin population meaning they have not been exposed to the virus previously ( magpies typically live 5-7years in the wild) our last big noted explosion of this virus was seen around 2003-2004 when we had a better supply of rain. Due to our drough breaking we have had large numbers of mosquitos which have managed to spread the virus again, the pox lesions eventually disappear over 3-6 weeks and it is preferred that where ever possible they stay with their parents, the virus alone is not a reason for them to need to come into care normally. Encourage MOPs to leave pleanty of fresh water out and only feed ( IF THEY MUST FEED) high quality mince meat with calcium powder added.
A few T & F
it can be spread by direct contact- FALSE
it is spread by mosquitoes-TRUE
it can only be cured by antibiotics -FALSE
It is a virus and will run its course-TRUE
Written and prepared by Michelle Thomas
Verified by Dr Anne Fowler