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Length 29-33 cm. The Apostlebird is most often as seen in upper image: mostly grey with soft-looking body feathers. Flight feathers are brown, tail is black, legs are dark, the short, strong bill is black. However, the Birdforum Gallery (link below) show several images of birds with a much more reddish-brown color, be that due to true variation, staining, or an effect of unusual light conditions (see lower image).
North, east, and south Australia. Highly nomadic.
Two subspecies are recognized:
The only close relative of the Apostlebird is the White-winged Chough.
Woodlands near water, farmlands with trees, roadsides, orchards and golf courses. Open scrub and eucalypt forests
The diet includes insects and seeds.
Their flight has a characteristic pattern of flapping intermingled with gliding.
This species are communal mudnest builders, who, as suggested by the name, work in large groups building their mudnests on a tree branch and feeding their young ones. Not always making up a dozen birds, but with several generations helping in the rearing of their young. This group behavior apparantly lead to the name used for this species.
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Recorded by Azzy at Danggali Conservation Park, South Australia. 11th May 2009.
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