This is a butcherbird.
It looks very similar to a magpie, and they are from the same genus. They got their name from their habit of skewering prey on thorns or jamming them in tree crevices to eat later… they’re like the Hannibal Lecters of the bird world. They are generally very bold and cheeky, and often alight on our balcony railing either looking for a handout or taking a break from the rain if the weather’s particularly shocking.
I have named the neighbourhood butcherbirds R2D2. We don’t have an official pet so I like assigning names to all of the wild animals and birds we encounter; you’ve already met Lord Varys, Plissken and Homer Simpson. If you watch the video I think you’ll agree the name is appropriate – my filming wasn’t all that great to start with and uploading it to YouTube made it even worse but the sound is still okay; I suggest you close your eyes and imagine yourself lying on warm grass under a big gum tree. With a cold beer in your hand. Actually, why don’t you just grab a real cold beer? It’s the weekend. And a pair of thongs. (Nb non-Aussies I of course mean the jandals/flip-flops/shoe thongs not the g-string/bum floss/undies kind, but if you wanna wear bum floss with your flip flops as you enjoy a bottle of piss* don’t let me stop you.)
(*not actual piss.)
P.S. Please note the rude tearing noise that you cannot hear at 03:25 was NOT made by me.
P.P.S Next time the magpies come by and serenade us I’ll try and video them too – one of my favourite sounds in the universe. Even if they do sometimes sound like that little frill-necked dinosaur in Jurassic Park that attacks Dennis Nedry in his car and eats his face off.