Thursday, 11 October 2012

Junior Maggie

I have not been swooped by magpies this season though my husband came home a few weeks ago, with blood and gashes on his head, having been swooped on Mount Ainslie. He was cycling and I think helmets drive the magpies extra mad. Now the young magpies are hatched, the parent birds are in constant service and are less concerned about foot traffic. 

If you know the sound of magpie hatchlings demanding to be fed, with the cries growing louder and more frenzied as the parents  approach, it is easy to locate magpie nests right now. I've had the chance to observe a few nests over the years and I admire the parents' dedication. One year the nestlings were cleared out by currawongs and the parents stayed around the tree for days afterwards. Not that there's a shortage of magpies, it was a sad affair.

In the following photo you can see a not too bright fledgling, that fledged too soon. It was not even able to walk properly and used its wings for balance. One parent was close by and feeding it, but its chances of returning to the nest seemed slight to me.

And here is a standard issue Australian Magpie. Judging by its sleek, clean look it is young. Older magpies get dusty.

Yet another common sight; a magpie sitting on a street, carolling away, oblivious to passersby. 

My mum in northern NSW, says some of their magpies only ever walk. They've dispensed with the effort of flight!

1 comment: