Sunday, February 1, 2015

Magpie-lark

Magpie-larks are Australian birds in the family Grallinidae.  The only other species in the family is a New Guinea bird called the Torrent-lark. Molecular studies surprisingly suggest Grallinidae are closely related to monarch-flycatchers, another Old World bird family.

In any event, Magpie-larks are abundant in Australia and are often found in cities and farm-country. Before the advent of Europeans and subsequent conversion of habitat to farmland, Magpie-larks were not as common and restricted to areas near wetlands. Attempts to introduce the species to New Zealand, Fiji, and Hawaii have all been unsuccessful (Handbook of Birds of the World—Alive).

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