This comical bird (pronounced “chuff”) lives in family groups of up to 20 birds. Foraging on the ground, they continually call to each other, with descending whistles of varying tones. The slightest threat will change that to a concerned, vibrating chatter as they fly up into trees. The group build together, creating a thick-walled nest of mud, stuck on a horizontal branch.
Many females will lay up to nine creamy-white eggs in the nest. All birds help to raise young and larger families have a better breeding success. With their red eyes and dance displays, they often lure and kidnap young from neighbouring families to build up numbers.
Illustration: Mar Trinham.