Do you know this pal as a peewee? Perhaps a peewit? Or a mudlark? A pugwall? This black-and-white passerine bird is native to Australia, Timor and southern New Guinea, and has a different name in every locality -sometimes onomatopoeic ones! Indigenous people in the ...Sydney region called it birrarik or birrerik.
Aggressively territorial, magpie-larks have been known to attack larger species such as magpies, ravens, kookaburras and wedge-tailed eagles, as well as humans, and occasionally their own reflections.
Magpie-larks are one of around 200 species of bird around the world known to sing in duet; each partner produces about one note a second, but a half-second apart, so humans find it difficult to tell that there are actually two birds singing, not one. Duet singing among magpie-larks is recognised to be co-operative: pairs sing together to defend territory and recognise their neighbours.