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Saturday, February 28, 2009

If there’s one thing that’s consistent in my life and the neighbourhood it’s the Australian Magpie’s that live in mine and many other gardens

Black and white with a lovely warbling that’s called carolling they are funny to watch especially when the whole family comes to visit.

Some days as a treat I give them some small pieces of raw cat meat; I’m definitely their best friend if I happen to be digging in the dirt and they are cheeky enough to follow and almost sit beside me waiting for the all clear so they can set to work digging about themselves for goodies I might have loosened in the soil. They tend to dig into the soil so aren’t as messy as blackbirds (with the yellow beaks) whose absolute delight is to toss dirt and mulch to one side while looking for goodies.
click on the pictures to make them larger

Any adult feeds the young and the young ones can yell quite loud and long and give the impression their throats cut and they are dieing of hunger. Poor mum, dad or aunty can’t shovel it in fast enough some days and I’ve seen the adults almost give the young a clip round the ears if it goes on too long.

Female with grey back and young one looking on longingly for food

They don’t seem to be afraid of anything and are really quite bossy, can even front up to big crows if they dare to land in my garden. They know and tolerate the cats and I always know when the cats are wandering about as the magpies come out with a different cry to their usual carolling.

Female magpie carolling - see how she is standing up with her mouth open

Young about to be fed while others forrage around
Heres a male I saw on my walk last Australia Day (January 26th) - he's much bigger than the female and has a white back

As I said they come to visit each day and are a real pleasure to watch


  1. Those magpies are lovely Cathy, super photos of them and I enjoyed you telling us about their habits. Very interesting. Thanks for stopping by my blog. To answer your question, I think substituting almonds or crushed walnuts would make a great substitute to the pecans.

  2. Although we do have magpies in the UK they seem very different from those from home in New Zealand. They seem more wary of humans and unlike at home, I miss watching their behaviour. It's funny but birdsong is one of the things I do miss. I have a cd of New Zealand birdsong that sometimes I play on low all night. It sends me off to sleep. Margaret

  3. I don't believe I have ever seen a magpie. Those are nice pictures.

  4. what great photos, I don't think I have seen a magpie since I came to Canada.

    Gill in Canada


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