Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Old Friends & New

These magpies have been nesting in our area for years. When we first moved into our house, they used to nest in the park (pictured) just down the road, then one year they nested in the gum tree in my neighbours yard. They nested here for a number of years until the crows came & took over the nest a few seasons ago. Now they have nested in a large gum tree in a property adjoining the park, just out of camera range to the left.

We have got to know these magpies very well over the years. One year we watched over their babies as they learnt to fly. They had fallen from the nest & landed in our yard, so to protect them from cats, we bundled them up in a box with a wire top, patially covered with old towels, & put them on top of our carport roof. They would be in this box of a night, and during the day they had the run of our yard, with their mum & dad flying in to feed them. The babies became very tame, and my sons used to pick them up & let them fly down to the ground. It only took a few days and they were strong enough to fly high enough to get away from any predators.

So now every year they come back to say hello & introduce us to the next generation. Below is a baby from this year, not sure if he is watching me with the camera, or himself in the mirror in my neighbours garage.

Magpies have a reputation of swooping & attacking humans if they come anywhere near their nest. As you can see, their beaks are quite large & can cause some serious damage. Personally, I have found that if we are aggressive to them, they will be aggressive back. These particular magpies know that we will not hurt them, & quite often come looking for food.

1 comment:

Northern Shade said...

Our magpies in Canada are similar, but have long bluish tails and wings. they are very clever birds, and a lot of fun to watch, with complex social interactions.