One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A songbird of the Australian butcher-bird family, with mainly black or grey plumage, a robust straight bill, and a resonant call.
Genus Strepera, family Cracticidae: three speciesAlso called bell magpie
- ‘On the beaches he noted black duck, grey and chestnut teal, black currawongs, blue wrens and waders feeding among bull kelp where kelp flies bred, their maggots the staple diet along the exposed coastline.’
- ‘I snapped these two fat galahs a few minutes ago, with a currawong in the background.’
- ‘In addition to the Magpie-larks, currawongs, and magpies, I saw a Little Pied Cormorant diving for fish.’
- ‘And the currawongs would just tease her unmercifully.’
- ‘Birds such as currawongs are increasing in number and competing with smaller birds for food and habitat, while ibis are growing bolder in their dealings with people.’
1920s: from an Aboriginal word.
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