Saturday, 11 February 2012

Can a magpie show gratitude?


This is a Magpie.  Lovely birds with a beautiful chortle song.  They take meat pieces from my hand.  It amuses me that, if the piece is small, they turn their head and take it sideways so as not to peck my hand.

This is an Indian Mynah.  The avian equivalent of a rat.  It is about  a quarter of the weight of a Magpie but pecks well above its weight.

This morning the two had a fight in my front garden.

In fairness to the Mynah, the Magpie started it.  Two Mynahs were on the feeding tray in the front garden when the Magpie swooped in, squawking and scattering them.  Not wanting to take this nonsense, the Mynahs called in reinforcements and about four of them turned on the Magpie.  Savagely.  It was on the ground and losing feathers at an alarming rate.

Watching this from the bedroom window, I ran out into the front yard, shouting vaguely ineffectual things like "Hey!".  All birds scattered, leaving a post-party assortment of Magpie feathers around the yard.

In the past I have put what meat the Magpies haven't taken by hand on a feeding tray and, when the Magpies have had their fill, then the Mynahs and Ravens share the leftovers.  After this morning's pack attack, I think I will revert just hand feeding the Magpies.



  1. The Magpie's beak looks like it's been air-brushed.

    Monster Mynahs...shame on them.

  2. The Vultures have them, the great red tail hawks have them.
    Even Eagles...huge bald eagles, have them...

    Missing feathers.
    Size is less deterrence than one would guess. But your description was amusing.
    I saw a red tail swoop into a nearby arbor vitae next to the house while repairing the roof. (how'de he get the arbor vitae to repair his roof?) Anyway I threw shingles at the hawk, and yeah, yelling profound indignitaries such as "hey!" and "Get out'a here!"

    I should have read some limericks at good volume.
    Thig flies in at top, and near as I could tell, just drops down branch to branch, finds a bit of bird not paying attention, gets a good grip and takes him off to "see the world!"
    well, or at least take it to dinner.

    oh dear.

  3. Have you been corrupting Mynahs again?

  4. I have to say...last year there was a war in our backyard as well. The magpies tore the mynahs apart. We stood on the sidelines and cheered. :)

  5. Caravon - scary black bird that killed my canary who was living peacefully inside its cage on the balcony.


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