Pee Wee or Magpie-lark

Grallina cyanoleuca.

Image by Alex Wilson

The Pee Wee or Magpie-Lark has no connection to magpies or larks, they are often confused due to their similar colouring, however the Magpie lark is much smaller. Their name comes from their distinctive call.
It is one of the most widespread birds in Australia. The male have a white eyebrow and a black throat; the female’s eyebrow and throat are both white. Both male and female have black legs.
Male and female will often sit side by side singing in duets to each other whilst their wings are raised and lowered.
They are found all over Australia apart from dry deserts and rainforest, preferred habitat must include water and trees. Flocks are formed by non-breeding birds being nomadic in search of food, north in autumn/winter and south in spring/summer.
The Magpie-lark is usually seen searching on the ground for a variety of insects and larvae, as well as earthworms and freshwater invertebrates. They are great to have around the garden as they are like a resident pest control.
Magpie-larks breed from August to December; they can however breed outside this time if conditions are favourable. They build a bowl-shaped mud nest on a horizontal branch or similar up to 20 m above the ground. The nest is lined with feathers and grasses. The nest is aggressively defended as is their territory, which may occupy up to 10 ha. Both parents share the incubation of the 3-5 eggs and care for the young.





©Wildlife Mountain 2000 - 2017


We would also like to acknowledge the amazing support and help we have had from the Lismore Vet Clinic who have been an invaluable support to both us and the native wildlife of this region.

All native birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles are proteced under the Wildlife Act 1975, they may not be captured or harmed in any way without an authority issued under the Wildlife Act.