Australian Magpies – Cracticus tibicen are just the most lovely birds. Their striking black and white plumage and beautiful red/brown eyes are topped off with the most wonderful warbling call. It really is one of the iconic bird calls of Australia and its bushland.
Over recent weeks my husband has been spending a fair bit of time pottering around in the garden. He has been putting in a pond with water for the birds. As it has been a particularly dry Spring so far, it seems to being appreciated by a number of bird species including magpies.It is nesting time for Magpies at this time of year and many of the local magpies are swooping at this time of year protecting their nesting zones. Often our neighbours have trouble going into their backyards to do things such as hanging their clothes no the line we have never had that problem. Having been hit in the back of the head by a swooping Magpie protecting it’s nest as a child I can say it really actually hurts! So avoiding their swoop or nesting zones is a definite strategy I would recommend.
Our little band of local magpies however, come into our native garden frequently without any animosity. It is a different matter if you were to go outside the fence but it seems a kind of ‘magpie swooping free zone’ inside the fence.
Whilst gardening one of the ‘locals’ decided it was a great idea to stand nearby my husband and wait for him to throw any earthworms he dug up its way. As a result the two have built up a kind of bird / man relationship of sorts.
It seems this has now extended to lining up for a shower when he goes to water the veggie garden and keep the pond filled up.
This lovely creature preens, fluffs and just so enjoys his little shower.
He flies away but comes back again and again for more of that delicious cool light misty spray from the garden hose.
It has been particularly warm this Spring so far so just was we used to do as kids a good cool off under the garden hose or sprinkler this lovely Magpie thinks it is just the bees knees.
Aren’t magpies great? We also have interactions with a family of them on our property. I often wondered why they swoop the local kookaburras and noisy miners, but not us humans. I found out from Gisela Kaplan’s book, “Australian Magpie – Biology and Behavoiur of an Unusual Songbird” (CSIRO), that they recognise individual people if they encounter them regularly. So your birds must know you and your husband very well.
Ah I haven’t read Gisella Kaplan’s Magpies only her Tawny Frogmouth book which is great! Must try & find the Magpies book 🙂