As all of the plants shut down and insects, lizards and mammals are no longer active due to the cold weather, this pair has made a regular appearance near the back-door each morning for the last week or so.
They turn up at the same time and announce their arrival with a wonderful, carolling song.
You can listen to it here, as well as a brief description by David Attenborough.
The clip is only 2 minutes and gives a wonderful sense of what I hear each morning:
These relatives of the Butcher-Bird (unlike the European Magpie ours are not related to the crow) are calling me for a morning feed, and they now have me trained so well that I even bought cheese and mince for them at shopping!
Magpies are not timid birds: but over the course of the week they’ve come closer and closer for their breakfast…even venturing onto the covered porch:
I have heard they will eat from your hand once they trust you sufficiently.
Many Australians don’t like Magpies as they are seen as aggressive towards people during mating season. You can watch a clip of it here:
Now it is true in Spring that some male Magpies will dive-bomb passers-by who venture too close to their nests after the new chicks have hatched, but like many Australian birds, Magpies are very intelligent, social and live for 25 years.
I have only ever been attacked twice in almost 50 years, and it was when I was young.
New research has shown that they have a very good facial recognition: point in case the Magpie in the you-tube clip stopped the attack when the helmet was removed.
So, by feeding this pair, I’m hoping to ensure my protection in the garden come October, but at any rate, they feed on all sorts of garden pests so even if the male of the pair is prone to dive-bombing, for the other eleven months of the year they are very beneficial.
Happy Gardening 🙂