APOSTLEBIRD (Struthidea cinerea)

When I cleared out my whole nature blog and started afresh, my main aim was to set up a better index in the sidebar for both birds and plants (as well as the intermittent news on my apartment balcony garden), but inevitably I’ll also end up with the more dull and less interesting Australian birds.

This Apostlebird (Struthidea cinerea), photographed in Melbourne Zoo’s great aviary, is one of them.

APOSTLEBIRD (Struthidea cinerea) – The Great Aviary, Melbourne Zoo.

The best way to describe this bird, usually found in more inner regions of eastern Australia, is DULL.

Body dull, lead-grey with a darker eye patch and dark brown wings.  Tail long and black, wedge-shaped.  Beak, dark grey, robust and almost triangular.  Legs short, giving an awkward almost horizontal posture, with the tip of its long tail on the ground.

It flies low, with frequent glides.  When feeding it hops, walks and runs actively and is often aggressive.

Not usually seen as far south as Melbourne where I live, but to be honest, I don’t think I could identify it in flight in the wild anyway, as its so similar to many other dark-coloured Australian birds, so was pleased to photograph it standing on a nearby branch at the Zoo.

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8 thoughts on “APOSTLEBIRD (Struthidea cinerea)

  1. They’re not so hard to identify because they are usually in a group with about 11 others just the same, hence the name. We saw them frequently on the side of the road on our recent trip.

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    1. I wondered if they looked more like Ravens, Crows or Currawongs. Thanks for the comment, Jane, nice to hear you can actually identify them easily in the wild – I did wonder.

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  2. I love the suggested source for the name, “Apostle bird.” And I laughed at the scientific name. The genus, Struthidea, has tucked inside it an exclamation for something that’s true and perhaps even a little surprising: “Struth.” It’s a Britishism: a contraction for “God’s truth.” Maybe some taxonomist looked at this bird, said, “That’s the dullest bird I’ve ever seen,” and another one said, “Struth!”

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    1. LOL
      We tried to send all the dull birds over to you, Ted, but some got left behind and decided to holiday DownUnder instead of making the long flight (only to have to come back home once your cold Winter set in). 🙂

      I’ve a couple more dull birds to share, but I usually only see the brightly coloured ones, having such poor eyesight (as I do).

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