The magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) is a common and conspicuous black and white bird seen in many locations near trees by rivers and swamps throughout Australia. They are strongly territorial and both sexes look similar but the male has a distinct white eyebrow, black chin and chest, whilst the female is easily recognised by her white 'bib' throat and forehead.

They feed mostly on the ground eating insects or pond snails. Their flight is very distinctive with round wings making pulsing strokes.

During breeding season, the male and female proclaim their territory in an anti-phonal duet with each rhythmically opens and raises wings and spreads tail. Their nest is a bowl-shaped made of mud bound with grass and plastered to a horizontal branch 6m to 15m high, or on a man made structure (e.g. a windmill), often over or near water. There are 2 to 3 eggs and the newly hatched chicks are clothed in grey down, unlike other mud nest builders' hatchlings which are naked. Magpie-larks often nest near other black and white birds, particularly willie wagtails and white-winged trillers. (Contributed by Jo G.)