The Australian Magpie

Another of my favourite birds is the Australian Magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen. It is a combination of its dramatic black and white plumage, its beautiful voice and often friendly personality. The one exception to this would be at nesting time when signs are erected in most towns warning people of swooping magpies. They see humans as a threat to their babies in the nest and take the rather drastic action of bearing down on heads with their sharp beaks. Ice-cream containers with eyes on the back, hard hats etc have all been used to ward off these attacks. As a young person riding a bike unsuspecting of a magpie’s nest I too was hit on the back of the head – and it does hurt, even drawing blood! Fortunately our nearby ‘local’ magpie’s babies are now out of the nest and squawking loudly and seemingly endlessly at times (not pleasant really!) for their food. Quite demanding even when adult sized.

I do forgive them for any overzealous parenting though and when in the mornings their beautiful ‘singing‘ wakes me up all this is forgotten….


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