Silver-backed butcherbird

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Silver-backed butcherbird
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Artamidae
Genus: Cracticus
Species: C. argenteus
Binomial name
Cracticus argenteus
Gould, 1836

Cracticus torquatus argenteus

The silver-backed butcherbird (Cracticus argenteus) is a small, shrike-like bird. It is almost identical to the grey butcherbird (C. torquatus) of which it considered by some authorities to be a subspecies, C. torquatus argenteus.[2]

The species was first described by ornithologist John Gould in 1836 as Cracticus argenteus.[3]


The silver-backed butcherbird looks similar to the Grey butcherbird, except its back is lighter and silvery.[4] This species is snappy and fearless, diving at humans and dogs near the nest. It may attack other birds like the spangled drongo or common koel.


It is a part-time predator but insects are also taken. It feeds on small lizards such as skinks and mice along with small birds that it snares and plucks out of the sky.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Cracticus argenteus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "Cracticus argenteus". Avibase. 
  3. ^ Gould, John (1836). "Characters of new species of Birds from New South Wales". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 126. Retrieved 14 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Morcombe, Michael (2004). Field guide to Australian birds. Steve Parish Publishing.