A possible territorial and nesting association between Pied and Grey Butcherbirds Cracticus nigrogularis and C. torquatus and the Yellow-throated Miner Manorina flavigula

This study demonstrated that Yellow-throated Mineis Manorina flavigula arc aggressive birds that exclude other species of birds from their territories. However, they did not exclude Grey Butcherbirds Cracticus torquatus or Pied Butcherbirds C. nigrogularis from two widely separated sites in Western Australia. Concurrently active nests of Yellow-throated Miners and Pied Butcherbirds were found within 10-30 metres of one another at Westonia. Yellow-throated Miners, and Pied and Grey Butcherbirds perched close to each other without aggression. A territorial and nesting association between these species is unexpected since both genera are aggressive towards other species. Pied and Grey Butcherbirds may benefit from abundant arthropod resources that are not exploited by miners, and in return, miners may benefit from the aggressive ability of the butcherbirds to repulse larger nest-predators when miners cannot. The grouping of nests may aid all species in defending their territories and may enhance their nesting success.

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