Australian Native Birds - Australian Magpie Facts and Myths! Do Magpies Mate for Life?

Magpie dad looking great in black and white
Magpie dad looking great in black and white | Source

Australian Magpie

The Australian Magpie (cracticus tibicen) is a medium sized black and white bird native to Australia.

The Australian Magpie should not be confused with the smaller Magpie-lark (Mudlark/Murray Magpie/Peewee in other States of Australia) (Grallina Cyanoleuca)

Although slightly larger The Australian Magpie is more closely related to the Butcherbird.

Australian Magpies would be regarded as a medium size bird measuring from 37 - 45 cm in length and when in song have the most beautiful of 'warbles' of any bird I have heard.

Magpies being omnivores are never short of food and we often see them fossicking through the cut grass for fresh food.

Magpies spend a lot of daylight hours on the ground and they are also unusual in the fact that they walk and run, one foot after the other, not hopping or waddling like a lot of other birds. These birds are quite territorial and usually stay in a family group.

The Australian Magpie should not be confused with the smaller Magpie-lark (Mudlark/Murray Magpie/Peewee in other States of Australia) (Grallina Cyanoleuca)


Mudlark not to be confused with a Magpie
Mudlark not to be confused with a Magpie | Source

Australian Magpie - Quick facts

I find the Australian Magpie one of the most intriguing birds that I have studied. I have listed below some interesting facts about this bird:

  • Magpies are actually from the same family as the Butcher bird (Cracticus torquatus) and not related to the Pied crows from which they got their name.
  • They are highly intelligent
  • Magpies generally mate for life , although the alpha male generally has more than one female with which to mate and they live as a type of family commune.
  • They are very territorial and will fight with other Magpies to keep there neck of the woods. However they will share their space with other species without a problem.
  • Unlike other birds they walk fairly upright and do not hop or waddle like most other birds.
  • In a sporting sense the most famous (arguably) and hated (without question lol ) football team in Australia is Collingwood and they are called the Magpies due to their black and white colored jumpers.

The Baby Magpie and I

Over the years I have developed an affinity with Magpies and have a certain love of the way they live their lives. Some years ago now a family of Magpie adopted our back garden as their home and over a period of time they learned to trust Oliversmum and myself.

We started out earning their trust by putting out small tid-bits of minced meat for them to eat. To digress just a bit. If you do decide to feed birds never put out so much that they become dependent upon you and lose their natural ability to gather their own food.

This family of Magpies, there was only Mum and Dad at the time, would come down every day and take the food; becoming so tame that they would eat out of our hands and trusted us so much they would even come into our enclosed back porch.

We could see their nest high in a Cyprus Pine tree and as soon as we opened our door the Magpies would glide down and land gracefully on our lawn.

The first Spring came and we realized that the Mum Magpie had laid eggs and was involved in the incubation process. After the hatching we could see that there was two hungry mouths to feed and both Mum and Dad Magpie were busy gathering food for the two nestlings.

Update September 2012

The baby magpie that you see in the nest high in the tree is at our estimate only 1 week old , if you look closely it's eyes are not yet fully open. However it is already strong enough to be demanding food from Mum and Dad Magpie and the are being run ragged keeping up supply.

Although we can't make it out as yet we have an idea that there may be another magpie hatchling in the nest. BTW the nest is about 40 feet up from the ground!

Magpie coming in for dinner

Magpie mum and dad queue up for dinner.
Magpie mum and dad queue up for dinner. | Source
This baby magpie about 1 week old is already demanding food from Mum Magpie and Dad Magpie
This baby magpie about 1 week old is already demanding food from Mum Magpie and Dad Magpie | Source

Magpie Mum

Magpie mum with her slightly greyish back
Magpie mum with her slightly greyish back | Source
Magpie cooling off in the Veggie patch!
Magpie cooling off in the Veggie patch! | Source

Tragedy strikes

After a few weeks the task of getting the nestling to fly was at hand for the parent Magpies!

The first Fledgling to leave the nest was no problem it came down and landed very clumsily and got up and looked for cover and over the next week or two became quite proficient at flying.

The second Nestling however was not so fortunate. It did not leave the nest for quite some time and we did not realize until later that it was carrying an injury.

It was hiding in the bushes and was very hard to see as Mum and Dad Magpie were very protective and would not let anyone near to the two fledglings. They would collect the food from us and then go and shove it down the fledgling throat. (Literally)

When it did come out of hiding we could see that it was limping and one of it's wings was hanging down lower than normal.  We were hoping that with the help of Mum and Dad Magpie it would soon come good.

It did not take us long to come to the conclusion that things were not improving and that sooner rather than later something would have to be done for this poor Fledgling.

So we mapped out a plan to try to rescue this poor little bird and take it to the Veterinary Clinic (In our state Veterinary Clinics will treat wild animals free of charge).

We prepared a cardboard carton big enough to accomadate the bird and packed it like a nest. Next we had to wait until Mum and Dad were distracted and then just pick up the bird and put it in the carton.  Sounds easy... Right?  Wrong, we were not counting on the maternal instincts of the Mum Magpie!

Picking up the baby Magpie was not the problem, it did not struggle at all and fortunately for me, knowing how hard Magpies can attack,  I had put on a thick jacket and a reasonable hat.

In the 20 metres or so that I had to walk from picking up the baby the Mum Magpie attacked me all of the way.  Grabbing at my head and arms and pecking at my face. Fortunately for me no damage was done.

 We then took the baby to the Vets for a complete inspection. The prognosis was not good. The bird had a severely damaged wing and leg (probably caused by falling from the nest ) and the Vet told us that it would never fly or be able to perch on a branch and was surprised that it had survived for so long.

There was no way that this bird could ever live in the wild and the decision was made to humanely euthanize the baby magpie.(Magpies are not allowed to be kept as Pets)

Oliversmum and I were both terribly upset for the Mum and Dad Magpie and they seemed to be fretting themselves.  It took about a week before things got back onto an even keel and they resumed taking feed from us. By this time the surviving baby Magpie was also queuing up for its food.

Magpie juvenile, approx 12 months old showing a dark blue/blackish bill. Some scratches are showing due to either fighting or scavenging for food.
Magpie juvenile, approx 12 months old showing a dark blue/blackish bill. Some scratches are showing due to either fighting or scavenging for food. | Source
Female magpie has bill turning white indication some age and mottled back indicating - female
Female magpie has bill turning white indication some age and mottled back indicating - female | Source

Magpie - Baby, Juvenile, Male, Female ?

Telling the difference between baby Magpies and their Mums and Dads can sometimes be a bit difficult?
Baby and juvenile magpies have a darker bill than the adult magpie.
It has been reported that Magpies can live up to 30 years and as the magpie ages it's bill starts to whiten leaving a dark blueish section at the point.
Picking the gender of a Magpie is not as easy?
In our neck of the wood the Magpie male is a larger bird and usually more dominant and aggressive.
If you look at the back of a male Magpie the 'white' part of his back is almost pure white whereas the female Magpie has a more mottled 'white' section.

Magpies Love them or Hate them?

Do you love or hate magpies? are you a 'member' of the Magpie Nutters Club

See results without voting

Welcome to the 'Magpie Nut' Club


It has absolutely amazed me just how many people have enjoyed an experience with a family of Magpies.

I , and I'm sure our other 'Magpie Nut' club members, would love to hear any anecdotes you would care to share.

If you have a story to tell, or a question to ask, about a family or individual Magpie just scroll down to the 'comment box' and leave a comment. You will get a response, guaranteed :)

Ku Ring Gai Chase National Park

Taeko and Dumbo (the Magpie ) devour their brekkys :)
Taeko and Dumbo (the Magpie ) devour their brekkys :) | Source
Dumbo (Magpie) and Taeko enjoying afternoon tea :)
Dumbo (Magpie) and Taeko enjoying afternoon tea :) | Source
Taeko and Dumbo : to share or not to share?  That is the question?
Taeko and Dumbo : to share or not to share? That is the question? | Source
Rachael (Magpie) and Taeko ... hmmm
Rachael (Magpie) and Taeko ... hmmm | Source

Magpie lover - a visitor from NSW

We have a guest report from a fellow "Magpie Nutter" (said with respect):)
Her name is Robbie Anne and she hails from a beautiful part of Australia just outside of the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park.

Robbie Anne is a regular commenter on the Hub and has kindly sent in some lovely images of her cat which is affectionately called "Andre-Alice-Audrey-Taeko" ( I will let Robbie Anne tell you why in her own words)

"He was originally just André, however he took on the names of my other cats after they passed away."

For now we will call her cat "Taeko".

Taeko on a regular basis shares space with her Magpie friends!
Robbie Anne tells us and you will also see in the images I have posted, that her cat Taeko and her family of Magpies have a very friendly relationship and often share afternoon-tea chit-chats!

Robbie Anne has given her magpie family some great names and here is a list:

  • Dad magpie is Dumbo
  • Mum magpie is Rachael
  • Juvenile Magpie is Cecil
  • Juvenile magpie is Cecelia
  • then we have Camilla, Parker and Bowles

No prizes for guessing where those names originated :)

Robbie Anne I hope I have got the names correct? If not let me know!

Anyway enough of the talking! I hope you enjoy the images and if anyone has a Magpie story or image that they would like to share please get in touch with me via my profile page:)

Thanks to Robbie Anne for taking the photos and agreeing to share them with the readers at Hubpages:

More by this Author

Comments 307 comments

sabu singh profile image

sabu singh 5 years ago

Thank you for this very interesting Hub, agvulpes. We have a number of oriental magpie robins around us. They are lovely songsters as you have said and provide us with a veritable feast of birdsong every morning.

I have also seen a number of yellow-billed blue magpie robins in the Himalayan foothills. Very colourful and raucous, those ones. Thanks again. Good read.

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

I'd really like to see a video of a Magpie running,though I have distant memories of seeing a bird running,a beautiful story agvulpes.;)

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

@sabu singh. Many thanks for your kind words I'm pleased that you enjoyed reading about the Australian Magpie.

I am happy that you get as much enjoyment out of your contact with your local magpie robins as we do!

I have never seen a yellow billed blue magpie robin I will look them up in my books!

Thank you for your visit and kind comment:-)

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

@Mentalist acer, thanks so much for your kind comment. My video making skills are nowhere near good enough to capture a Magpie running. Walking, yes but running...No!! lol

Magpies are much too smart to run very often. Most birds if in danger put to flight very quickly.

Thanks again for taking the time to visit and leave a nice comment :-)

attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hi Agvulpes, what a great tale, being a city slicker for the majority of my life makes me appreciate the wild birds, animals and insects we come across at our weekender in the Aussie bush. I might write a hub about last weekends events. Cheers i enjoyed this very much.

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

G'day ah, thanks for taking the time to read about my Magpie experiences. It's a shame I was not able to come up with a happy ending but that is the way it goes: "survival of the fittest"!

Mate, I would love to read some of your weekend adventures in the Aussie Bush.

Thanks again for you kind words!

Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Good Hub. I know just how territorial magpies can be. During nesting season at Bathurst in NSW you have to watch out for dive bomber attacks from them. Some university students ward them off with umbrellas. I once knew a student who had a pith helmet. The birds would simply bounce off it.

Generally, magpies are good natured and quite likable birds and, when they are not in egg protecting mode, very friendly and sociable.

teresa8go profile image

teresa8go 5 years ago from Michigan, USA

I will be thinking of this story all day. Thanks!

It's so wonderful to know that your "Veterinary Clinics will treat wild animals free of charge". Very sad about the injured baby though. Too bad you couldn't have gotten a special permit to keep it as a pet because of it's injury.

D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 5 years ago from Lancashire north west England

Hi, as a naturalist specialising on British wildlife I find your on your wildlife fascinating. I always enjoy being taught about species I have no knowledge of. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to see these beautiful birds. Your love for fellow creatures comes shining through a sign of a beautiful person.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

I enjoyed the story but was disturbed that the little guy was put to sleep. He was a survivor.

Those magpies look like small crows. Are they related to crows at all? If they're anything like the crows I see at the airport, they are intelligent and whimsical creatures. I love watching them fly, they are truly graceful.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee

voted up and beautiful! Well written and a beautiful account of love and devotion on your and your wife's part to care for an ailing bird.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

@Rod Marsden. Rod thanks for the contribution to the Magpie Hub. We do have the same trouble in some parks down here in Melbourne. I have known people who paint large eyes on the back of their bicycle helmets.

Funny thing is I believe that a certain amount of trust can be built up with the Magpie. Apart from my little incident we never had any of the dive bombing at all. You are correct they are a very friendly and sociable bird.

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

@teresa8go, I hope you are thinking of this story in a good way? Sometimes hard decisions have to be made!

We did consider the consequences of keeping the baby Magpie but after weighing it all up I believe that the decision that was made was fairest for the bird. The only private people allowed to keep wildlife are 'registered' refuges and they can only keep the wild animals until they are well enough to be released back into the 'wild'.

Unfortunately our young Magpie would need to have been kept in a cage for the rest of it's life and we did not consider that to be fair.

Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know that you care :-)

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

@D.A.L. Dave thanks for coming over and adding to the discussion on our Australian Magpie.

My aim when I write hubs such as this one about Magpies, is not to write the 'definitive' article on a subject rather, as I observe and experience life with these animals. It is very pleasing to know that my love of animals of any description comes across in my writing.

I am certainly looking forward to checking out your new website!

Thanks again for commenting :-)

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

@Alexander Mark. I understand where you are coming from and believe me the decision was not an easy one to make. Although some pressure was removed by the Vet who would not allow us to remove the bird even if we wanted to! If he had considered it 'savable' it would have been handed over to a 'refuge' for the recovery period.

Your Crow which comes from the Corvidae family does not appear to be related to our Magpie which comes from the Artamidae family (sometimes described as Crow like). Both species of birds are regarded as being highly intelligent.

From my research it almost seems reasonable to assume that the Australian Magpie was named incorrectly.

As a matter of fact whilst walking around the lake yesterday I was watching two black crows flying and playing with each other in the air, it was beautiful to watch.

Thanks for caring enough about the baby Magpie to leave a nice comment:-)

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

@samsons1, thanks so much for your vote of support, it is much appreciated.

Sometimes you have to make decisions either with your 'heart' or your 'head'.

I find that if there is a conflict the decisions that you don't regret later are made from the 'heart' :-)

Although at the time it was very distressing for us to agree with the Vet's decision we made it from our 'hearts' that it was best for the baby Magpie.

Certainly no regrets, then or since :-)

teresa8go profile image

teresa8go 5 years ago from Michigan, USA

agvulpes - Thinking about the story in a good way.

I understand about hard decisions like that. I've had to make a few of my own. There's no way to be sure when the injuries had been sustained. You, and or the Vet, figured it was probably from the fall from the nest, but the wing could have been injured in the nest and the leg in the fall. The baby could have had a genetic defect resulting in brittle bones or something like that.

Plus since animals handle pain differently than humans do so there's no way to be certain just how much pain the baby was in or if the pain would ever go away.

I remember seeing a YouTube video of a crow that could not fly. He learned to say "I want to fly." Whether he understands what he is saying is something we'll never know but, just like a person with an injury that will never allow him to walk; a bird that is unable to fly will suffer the mental and emotional pain of watching other birds fly knowing he cannot do something that comes as naturally to birds as walking does to humans.

Are animals capable of such thoughts and feelings? After watching wild and domesticated animals all my life I believe they are.

Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 5 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Great hub. I love watching birds in the wild. Too bad he did not survive


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

I loved this one. i am a sucker for anything to do with wildlife/nature and this one was great.

Take care


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

@teresa, sorry about the delay in replying, I took a bit of a break over the Easter period.

You are correct of course that in reality there was no way of knowing what the real problem was with the baby Magpie. The poor thing may well have been in constant pain!!

I personally don't believe that birds know the true meaning of what they are saying, they are just great mimics. Although... they are creatures of Habit and would soon learn that if they 'said' certain things or did certain 'actions' they would be rewarded with a 'treat'

As far as 'thoughts' and 'feelings' in animals. My take is that I think that animals are more 'basic' than we humans! Are these 'thoughts' and 'feelings' true 'emotions' as we humans feel them or more of an inbred 'survival of the species' instinct within their brain?

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

@Tina, thanks for you kind comment. Yes I agree, but according to 'professional' advise there was just no way that the little Magpie could have led an anywhere 'normal' life!

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

@Eiddwen. Me too! I love wildlife and nature. In our neck of the woods even in suburbia we have the call of nature just about every day!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment on my hub about the humble Aussie Magpie :-)

earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia

A great nature story ag, I love magpies, they are very clever and brave birds.

When I was a kid, a friend had one that talked. We were living deep in the bush, so he remained free, but followed my friend wherever he went.

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks eh, for your nice comment and I agree with you about Magpies being clever and brave, although I have seen them outsmarted by Willy wagtails :-)

Magpies, like Cockatoos are great mimics and pick up the sound of human voices very easily. Magpies are also very territorial and will attach themselves to humans quite readily!

Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 5 years ago from Sydney

It always makes me laugh that Aussie magpies really are "down under" magpies - check out the British magpies and you'll see the black and white patches are reversed!

You don't mention the beautiful song. Before arriving in Australia I had never heard a bird singing in a minor key. 25 years later that song still gives me a thrill.

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Marisa, you are so right about the birds being opposites it is probably because they are not really related! I am certainly no expert on the matter but I believe they are more related to Butcher birds.

I must have understated my love of the Magpie voice for you to not read it, I stated:

"and when in song have the most beautiful of 'warbles' of any bird I have heard."

It certainly still thrills me but unfortunately we do not hear it enough do we ?

Thanks for taking the time to share you experiences with the Aussie Magpie!

Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 5 years ago from Sydney

Oops, yes I missed that line!

Actually I hear it a lot. In Sydney the magpies are becoming very urbanised and at one of my local shopping centres, a whole group of them hangs around the waste bins. It's a rather run-down shopping centre so it gives me a lift to hear them warbling away amongst all that depressing concrete!

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

Ah under those circumstances it sure would be great to hear the magpies warble. I do know how depressing concrete can be, I worked in Melbourne Central for years before moving out further into the semi-rural areas.

I'm led to believe that the most tuneful and 'full-on' Magpie warble is when their territory is being challenged by another family of Magpies?

When they are happy the Magpie only sort of 'croons' it's warble!

Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 5 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Fantastic story. As you know from visiting my hubs birds are one of my favorites too.

We have Killdeer and they are fantastic to watch too.

I have had robins fly at me if I got too close to a nest.

Thank you for sharing the pics


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and leaving such a kind comment.

We don't have any Killdeer or Plovers as natives here in my State they do look a very active bird with some interesting habits!

However I believe that there are a few migratory Plover visit us every year.

I have never been attacked by a Robin as yet :-)

iburahimu profile image

iburahimu 5 years ago

You remind me to my childhood hobbies..

I loves birds and collecting everything about birds. I never seen such magpie. It's look like whenever there are in Australia, everything is unique.. such a nice collection of info.

For me I get attracted more to tropical birds such as parrot, peacock, toucan, bird of paradise, hornbill and many others as they are more colorful. Birds just they are all fascinating.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

@iburahimu Your great Hobby must have allowed you to have a happy childhood? I think a lot of our unique birds were named after European settlement of Australia.

The Australian Magpie is not closely related to the European Magpie, it belongs more to the Butcherbird family.

I hear you about the colorful birds,they are truly magnificent. Have your ever seen our Lyre bird?

I see we share a love of birds Thank you for sharing some of your childhood with us :-)

billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 5 years ago

I must admit I did like seeing Geelong beat up those Collingwood Magpies this year in the grand final - sorry to digress :)

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

LOL Oh yeah Billy, I could not agree with you more. The only magpie I don't like is the Collingwood Magpie. They are definitely not my team (so arrogant) and I was so excited to see Geelong (even though they are not my team)run all over them in the final Quarter.

Cheers mate:-)

Mikey Bo profile image

Mikey Bo 5 years ago

These are some pretty birds. I love the white/black/grey color patterns they have.

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

G'day Mikey thanks for dropping by:-)

It is quite weird really, although the Australian Magpie only has a black and white color, each bird has a distinctive pattern and is identifiable from other members of it's family.

The juvenile magpie has the motley grey feathers and as they get older the colors become more distinctive.

Lucille 5 years ago

We had four magpies that came to be fed and suddenly they've disappeared. A week's gone by and no sign of them. Is this normal?

Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

What a handsome bird, quite different to our magpie here in the UK, what a shame about the baby bird...

Thank you for sharing a lovely story and voted up, best wishes Lesley

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

@Lucille, hi and it is great to see other people interested in the well being of our birds.

I am not an expert on Magpie behavior but I have had lots of experience with these birds I have found them to be very territorial.

It does seem very strange that a whole family would just disappear 'just like that' and I would hold great concern for their welfare. Someone may have taken exception to being 'zoomed' during the mating season.

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Movie Master :) Yes these magpies are a very handsome and if I may add, intelligent bird.

I am lead to believe that our Magpie was mistakenly named after the English magpie. However this was later proved incorrect but the mistake lives in perpetuity...

Lesley, thanks for dropping by and leaving a nice comment:-)

Zac 5 years ago

What a story! I love it and what an honor to gain the trust of a magpie. No matter how far I travel nothing makes me feel more at home than hearing a magpie's call

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Zac G'day Mate, thanks for the kind comment and I sure know how you feel. We live in the bush and every morning we can hear the warbling of the Magpies !

Thanks for dropping by :-)

aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

An excellent story! Being from the US, I'd like to know more about your birds.

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@viannovice thank you for your kind comments. Australia is indeed blessed to have such lovely birds as the Magpie !

Rick 4 years ago

We have a very interesting relationship with a family of maggies that come in for a feed twice a day. They would usually wait for obvious activity like a car coming in the drive or just see us in the back yard and then hang around the back door and sing or squark for a feed. Gordon, now nearly 15, is a female I hand reared after finding it in a paddock 20km away, blown out of a nest. Called it Gordon after Gordon Coventry (Collinwood legend). She has come from barely tolerated to matriarch in this time, as well as being with her third 'husband'. At certain times of the year, like late summer, they may not come in for a feed for several days as the pickings in the paddock are very good. Here in the southwest of WA the males are white backed and the females black with pettycoat like white feathers poking out from behind the black. The juveniles are not possible to sex by their feathers. Mature birds have a whitish beak and juveniles beaks are grey to dark grey. We have heard them mimicking other birds' calls, usually 'sote voce'. Oh and not a Collingwood fan.

ann 4 years ago

We first met our happy family of magpies 6mths ago.Mum and Dad and 3 babys came to visit and I threw them some food and they ate it and stayed till they were happy to go.The mother was still feeding one of the babys and she was a real sqwaker and a real hoot to watch.We luved her antics.I named this funny little girl Knuckle.They still all come but Knuckle comes everyday now.She responds to my voice and still gets up to so glad she is free it makes me happy when i see her but when she flys off im pleased for her that she has the choice.

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

G'day Rick and thanks for your great contribution about 'your' Magpie called Gordon. It never fails to amaze me how birds such as magpies can attach themselves to humans with such trust!

The other day my wife found a female Magpie had invited itself into our living room via an open door and was looking for some food. She waited patiently and left with a small morsel lol

Your descriptions tie in the same as our own magpie family.

I believe that Magpies are one of the best birds at mimicking not just other bird voices but other sound such as car horns,power saws etc?

Nor am I a Collingwood fan (Go Tigers)lol

Thanks again for taking the time to drop by and leave a comment :-)

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

G'day ann and thanks for also sharing your lovely encounter with the marvelous Magpies.

It looks like you have been 'adopted' lol

Your Knucles sure sound like a character and I'm sure that you have a friend for life. Just a friendly piece of information about 'feeding' wild birds of any description.

Please don't feed them so much that they become dependent upon you for food. and make sure that you feed them the correct type of food.

You seem to have obtained a good balance and I'm sure Knuckles will give you years of enjoyment through it's companionship. I agree with you completely, it is great that they have the choice to come and go as they desire.

Thanks again for sharing your story about the amazing Magpie :-)

Elle 4 years ago

We have a rural property an hour north East of Perth that is in the middle of a large troupe of maggies. By accident I noticed a magpie eating the cat's biscuits and bit by bit we have put food out for them occasionally. Now we are blessed to be a part of "their" family. That original female is so calm and happy to walk up to us - within 2 feet - and we throw her bits of food scraps. She waits patiently. She is so trusting - I have no idea where that has come from!!! Her partner now comes up to the door and waits but he is much more cautious. They have 2 babies who are just starting to venture closer to us. They are part of a large group of 12 to 20 birds. They fascinate me no end.They talk to me when i am walking in the bush and will call me and then fly to the feeding area andpatiently wait. I have had 6 of them "running" alongside me in a paddock urging me on to go to where I feed them. They are such a source of enjoyment. If they see me walking in a paddock - the whole troupe soon knows and I have 'friends' above me in trees singing to me or they walk around me eating insects and are just content to share my space. i love the "bush telegraph" with these guys - word gets around so quickly when we arrive home and soon they all come to look at us. you can hear them calling to each other in other paddocks.

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

G'day Elle and thanks for taking the time to share your Magpie story with our readers.

It would seem that there is a large number of Aussie people who have built up a relationship with a 'family' of magpies.

We have been watching 'our' male magpie and he gave himself a bath and then spent about 15 minutes or so preening himself. My wife said that he must have a 'date' and is getting ready to see his lady friend. That is how personal it gets. It has been said 'The Magpie family becomes part of your family'.

You also say that they are very trusting and I agree with you 100% and I take that trust very seriously.

We who have been given this trust must always remember that Magpies are birds of the wild and we should not do anything to jeopardize their health or allow them to become too reliant on we humans to become their main food source.

I love the way that the Magpies communicate with one another in the manner that you describe, we hear them 'talking' among the family almost constantly and watch as they protect their own territory.

We find that the male of the Magpie family is more adventurous and the female and juvenile Magpies are much more timid.

Thanks again for sharing your Magpie story and would love (as I'm sure other readers would )to hear some occasional updates on your interactions with your Magpie Family.

vesna 4 years ago

Hello i`m from Serbia,belgrade.i`ve recently found Europian magpie(pica pica).In that time,it was youngster,wasn`t very small,neither too big.i`ve took him home,and he`s been with me for last 12 days.i need help because i don`t know how big he (or she)has to grow for me to let him into the wild.i`ve read the magpie adult`s measurements,but my magpie is 24cm(9,5 inches), including his tail,witch is somewhere in between...he can fly a bit,but i don`t know if that is enough for him to stay out of danger,because we have a lot of wild cat`s and dog`s on the city suburbs .

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

G'day vesna:-) If what you have is a Eurasian Magpie ( have a look at the wikipedia description here:

It would appear that it is a bit small and is perhaps a juvenile bird!

From my research your pica-pica is not in the same 'family' as our own Australian Magpie so any advise I could offer about the care of your Magpie may be completely wrong :(

If someone here asked me how to care for a local Magpie I would suggest that they DO NOT keep it as a pet but find an Animal Care Center or contact a local Veterinarian Clinic in your area.

Here we have an organization called RSPCA (Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) . If you can find a similar local Society or bird society in your area they should take it and give it the proper care until it is well enough to return to the wild !

vesna I hope that your Magpie recovers well and lives to remember the care that you gave it.

Magpies are very intelligent birds and do have long memories :-)

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missmypinetree 4 years ago

About six months ago i started feeding a family of four magpies.

They call me and come up to my front door.

I assumed the two babies had been raised in the huge pine tree that the council insisted on cutting down.

The tree loppers left a large nest with some steel mesh base so i guess that was theirs!

My family of four is now only a family of three (It's been that way for some weeks now).

And last night i noticed Mum maggies foot is not working .. she's limping. I'm so sad about this!

vesna 4 years ago

thank you for your reply.Unfortunately we don`t have any kind of rescue center here in Serbia.Rescue centers even for dog are just a few,three,or four in our country.Only few people like me,or few of my friend would help some bird,or other animal in distress and take her home for nursing.i thought someone is expert in all kinds of magpies,no matter if it`s asian,europian,or australian... clearly there are significant differences...anyway,i have no other option,than to judge for my personal feeling when will be the time to let her into the nature.

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missmypinetree 4 years ago

Hm well she seems to be managing for now .. sitting atop a telegraph pole and singing. She didn't come to eat with the other two this morning though. Shes very large and i wonder how her one good leg is coping.

Yesterday she sat in a tree outside my kitchen window trying to fix her leg. She was looking at it and slightly pecking at it. Her foot just kind of hangs loose. Poor girl.

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@vesna if you feel that the similarities that are there make your magpie have the same requirements as our Australian Magpie you may find some useful information on the magpie diet at this website:

Scroll down to #5 Magpie

For your and other peoples information there is a strong recommendation NOT to feed the Magpies raw meat.

Magpies are very intelligent birds and I feel that this bird will get attached to you as a 'parent' and will not travel far from your place when it is finally released.

Keep up the good work :-)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@misspinetree. Alas! the price our society and our grandchildren pay for progress! The urban sprawl is robbing us of a lot of nature's beauty. Having said that I believe that our Australian Magpie is such a clever and adaptable bird that it will survive this urban sprawl.

Look on the bright side maybe your missing magpie has moved on and found itself a mate to start it's own family? (don't be surprised if, in a few months time it turns up at your doorstep with it's own brood)

I sure hope that your Mum Magpie may just be putting on a show for you to attract attention with her sore foot. She may also have been in a fight?

I have seen many birds with only one leg and they become quite adept at balancing on one leg. (Very common in the sea gull family)

Unfortunately in nature it is a tough world and there appears to be a 'survival of the fittest' among most species and especially bird life.

Thanks a heap for sharing your Magpie story, it never ceases to amaze me how many people have 'bonded' with a family of magpies?

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missmypinetree 4 years ago

@Agvulpes..oh they're all still here the 3 of them.. mum magpie has taken to sitting down sometimes while she eats the thing is that when the pine tree was cut down they left the nest here in the garden .. an amazing sprawl of wire oh my god so much wire.. the other female magpie is trying to rebuild another nest somewhere from this amazing sprawl of wire and mum magpie sits in it trying to help pull out more wire i guess she just wants to feel normal still.. ive removed some of the nastier bits of wire but cant help but feel like im interfering :s

there is another part of the dismantled nest a much softer part with twigs and fur etc. . but they seem to be more interested in forming a base out of this nasty wire...should i remove it all !??

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oliversmum 4 years ago from australia

Agvulpes Hi. Great information and story on our Australian Magpies.

I can still see that baby magpie and how upset it's parents were when you rescued it. Unfortunately is was not to be.

There is a lot of activity at the moment,with the magpies renovating their nests,ready to lay eggs, So it won't be long before we have new babies to watch hatch and grow.

Magpies do make wonderful parents.

Thanks for sharing these beautiful birds with us.Thumbs up and very Interesting. :):)

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missmypinetree 4 years ago

shes getting good at limping instead of hopping! and seems to be able to put her foot out flat i didn't think she was her today!!

i will try to post a picture of her

and Agvulpes i just realized you meant the missing one i.e the fourth one..maybe he did start his own family! (because i do know that two of the three remaining are females)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

G'day missmypinetree :) and thanks for the update on the Magpie family. Poor mum magpie will very probably walk with a limp the rest of her life but that is OK, so do a lot of we humans!

As far as the 'wire' goes that's a hard one to answer!

Not having seen the wire I can't give you a firm reply only some suggestions.

If it is soft wire and multi-stranded it will more than likely be flexible enough for the magpies to use?

If it is solid wire (like galvanised fencing wire) I would be more concerned.

However Magpies are a very resourceful bird and if they still prefer using the wire as against using more organic material then who are we to change their minds?

Magpies in our neck of the wood like to use the 'horse hair' type material found in hanging baskets but will pick up just about anything they can carry.

I know what you mean by 'interfering' and it is hard to stay at arm's length from a perceived danger to the magpies but sometimes we just have to let nature take it's course :-)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

G'day Oliversmum and it's so nice to see you on my Hubs :-)

That episode with the poor baby Magpie was sure traumatic for the Magpie parents and also us ;( It's a pity that it did not turn out better :-)

Fortunately the baby Magpies parents did not hold a grudge against us and continued to honor us with their presence :)

On a happier note it is great to see the different Magpie families building their nests and teaching the older juvinile magpies how things are supposed to work.

I see many parallels between Magpie families and we human families such as respect and discipline (seems to be missing these days with we humans but that's another story :-))

Magpies are not the only birds 'nesting' at the moment. I noticed that the Tawny Frogmouth family are starting to nest up again, who knows we may have more little Tawny Frogmouths flying around soon. :-)

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missmypinetree 4 years ago

they're trying to make a new nest from the old nest they'd already made .. all the wires been twisted just how they want it to be and i feel like i'm making their life harder if i move it

they're doing fine although i didn't see mum maggie this afternoon ..

(just this morning and boy was she cold all fluffed up! lol)

we have little tiny finches here too but i don't expect to see too many more birds i dont forget that magpies are related to butcher birds!

i was on my way out this afternoon and two of the magpies blocked my exit .. they wanted a feed! cheeky buggers!

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

mmpt - yep the Magpie may be related to the Butcher bird but in my experience the Magpie co-habitates with other bird species very well. We have seen them drive away other predatory birds such as eagles and hawks which protects the smaller and more vulnerable birds.

It has been suggested by experts that feeding Magpies and other wild birds to the extent that they become reliant on you for food is not a desirable thing! I agree with and practice this advise only giving our visiting bird population small tit-bits now and then.

We have found that supplying a grassed area, a good watering bath and plenty of tree and bush cover attracts Magpies and other birds species such as Wattle birds, galahs etc

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missmypinetree 4 years ago

yeah they get on well with the honeyeaters and the doves but they do not like the seagulls circling (neither do i).

I try to not feed them too much. I'm often not home but i just felt a bit sorry for the one with the sore foot (she's still fine) i've been able to get close enough to see her knee it's slightly swollen and 'white'. She often just tucks it up under her feathers though and only uses it to help herself move forward or take off in flight. She can straighten it but not sure if she can bend it. Her talons used to curl up too but now she puts them down flat. All encouraging but i'd still love to take her to a vet in case it was fixable but i think she's doing fine :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

All the birds you mention are territorial to a point and have probably all 'grown up' together and tolerate each other?

If I were in a similar situation I would more than likely feel the same as you but having given it some thought I think the act of capturing the bird and then taking it to the bird would traumatise the bird more than just letting nature take it's course !

The Vet would more than likely just want to euthanize the bird or give it over to a refuge?

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missmypinetree 4 years ago

Shes fine!! it's healed itself! :D

I had a rainbow lorikeet here years ago with a broken wing it used to manage to get up on my clothesline but didn't do much else. It was eating though!

I called Wildlife Vic and they came, took it and then euthanized it. I remember being very sorry i'd called them.

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

It's good to hear that the Magpie has recovered from it's sore foot :-)

Unfortunately due to lack of resources (money) bodies such as you mention are sometimes forced to take the cheapest way out when handling wild animals, especially if they are in abundance such as Lorikeets and the likes. You are better off finding a local private wildlife carer who will make some attempt to bring the bird/animal back to health.

Kimbolina 4 years ago

I had a family of four magpies here for 2 1/2 years. The Mum magpie had two crippled feet, one worse than the other and still got around without too much fuss. Unfortunately all of a sudden there was a huge fight between the magpie territories and the other group ended up pulling all her flight feathers and tail feathers out, she could no longer fly. I took her to the vet and they told me she also had a broken leg. I was so upset. The vet decided to put her to sleep. Her two sons have been here for just over two years and they seem to be forever fighting with other magpies. One day not so long ago they both came here covered in blood. I was in such a panic and then one of the boys (my favourite magpie) had his flight feathers ripped out too and couldn't fly. So every day I went to where he was, to feed him. It was his brother who lead me to where he was and he was always by his side. His flight feathers still haven't grown back completely but he did recover and was able to fly again. But now suddenly, two days ago he has disappeared. I have looked everywhere for him but I can't find him. Usually it's his brother that will lead me to where he is, but this time nothing. They're not even calling out to him like they would normally. Do you have any idea what may have happened to him? I'm hoping he's just found a female friend and it's time for him to move on but in the meantime I'm starting to worry. This is so not like him to be missing and so not like his brother to let me know where he is. I just pray he is okay. Any advice?? Thanks :)

Greg 4 years ago

Very sad day here, i too have a small family, trying to raise a fledge.

i hadn't seen my friends for 3 days, getting concerned, i seached my property, on walking a round i found it, sadly, im sure you know....

Looking up at their nest at the front of the property i found Miner birds around it, i can only think bad thoughts, on the 4th day, they are back but have moved to the right side of the property, im happy, but hen i was feeding them once again, i saw that both have problems/missing feathers from their wings, i know this may sound a little silly, but im sure they were telling me about the baby, by the tone they were using, they are unable to fly long distances, so i will care for them and feed them back to a healthy state, and hopfully next year will have better results. Thank you for your advise.

Koko 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing your story and sorry to hear about baby magpie. I am currently in the situation stuck with a baby magpie which was standing infront of my door step when I got home yesterday! I have been keeping it in a cage while i'm at work and let it out in the back yard hoping that the magpie's parents will come for it. But when it gets dark I would take it back in and put it in the cage as I'm worried about it's safety with while cats around my neighborhood. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to help this little magpie which we have named koko? Any tips would be much appreciated :)

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missmypinetree 4 years ago

Hello Koko! you sound like you're doing everything right. How is your baby going?

Its mother probably fed it worms so just get it a little bit of mince if u can and rub it in the dirt even. Thats what mine do lol.

Mine made a new nest in the house over the road. The babies will probably try to fly soon. It's sad because that property is earmarked for 8 units to be built. So one day they'll have to find another pine...sigh.

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missmypinetree 4 years ago

And @Greg that's not silly im sure they do let you know as they can sense your concern. Very intelligent creatures :) I hope they are okay!!

The new nest that mine made is actually on a pine frond .. not the ideal kind of pine but it was made in a hurry .. shes looped wire around the bottom of the frond to hold the nest on top of it! Now that's clever!

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missmypinetree 4 years ago

@Agvulpes yeaa Go Tigers!

One of my Magpies was sitting on the fence a few weeks ago singing the blackbirds song!!

Couldn't believe my ears! or my eyes lol

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Kimbolina thanks so much for your sad Magpie story :(

Unfortunately based on my own experiences it is my opinion that your Magpie family has come up against two problems.

Firstly we have a territorial fight where different Magpie families fight to gain or hold territory that they perceive to be theirs. Magpies don't seem to mind sharing territory with other breeds of birds but another family of Magpies is another story. In my experience the strongest family will win the territorial fight!

Secondly we have a Sibling rivalry thing happening, where two males siblings will coexist for a while then as they age and start flexing their 'muscles' as the old saying goes 'there is not enough room in this town for both of us' one, sometimes both due to family pressure, will depart for greener pastures and more than likely find himself a female Magpie and locate a 'territory' for themselves to start another dynasty!

See a life cycle happening here? In some ways not unlike our own human nature?

You ask for advise? Hmm... that is hard as I don't really know your Magpie's circumstances but as I say to most people: Stay at arms length, remember that they are 'wildlife' and only offer assistance where absolutely necessary (as you did by taking the Magpie to the Vet. Well done:) on that score.) Over the years I have found that Mother Nature, if left to her own resources, has a way of sorting out these things.

Thanks again for sharing and I would love to hear any updates or any new Magpie 'adoptions' :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@ Greg . G'day mate and yes I do know what it is like to get attached to these birds. It sort of creeps up on you doesn't it? One day these Magpies are just a 'black and white' bird flying around and then you start to notice little things like: the hierarchy of the family, how the mum and dad look after the young ones almost slavishly keeping the food up to the 'kids' in the nest, how they come down and gather the food, communicating with you, how they don't 'swoop' you but 'swoop' others?.

Then you find you can feed them (then you are hooked, you are part of their family and they are part of yours).

Are you sure that the Magpies with the missing tail feathers are not actually 'fledges' who have not developed their flight feathers?

I don't think it silly at all that you believe that the Magpie is communicating with you. The Magpie has been rated as one of the most intelligent birds. In the past I have had a male Magpie fly down and land on my table and give me a beautiful warble, after telling him to wait I fetched some food, I could almost sense the 'thank you', he flew off with the food to return to the nest to feed the youngsters.

I'm sure that having learned that they can trust you these Magpies and their offspring will set up in your area and be around for many years.

Please drop by and let us know how they are getting along?

Greg thanks very much for sharing your Magpie experience :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Koko I'm sorry I have not go back to reply to you sooner:)

I commend you for caring for this wild Magpie, it is a big responsility and a huge job to care for these birds in the correct manner.

When you put the young bird outside try and find a higher protected branch for it to perch on!

There are some suggestions for you to consider. Firstly if you have not done anything as yet contact; Wild Life Victoria, link to website:

I'm sure that they will have a host of information on Magpies.

If you are off working all day who is caring for Koko during the day? In my experience baby Magpies are constant eaters and require almost 24/7 attention for the first few weeks/months of their lives.

I fear I may be too late with this :) Do not get emotionally attached to this bird as it may not be with you for a long time as it is not legal to keep Magpies in captivity in Victoria.

Please keep us other Magpie lovers up to date with Kokos future:)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@missmypinetree: OK - 2013 - "Year of the Tiger" Hmm... maybe not (((sigh))) lol

Good idea with the mince rubbed in dirt. Although I feel that young Magpies may need a bit more than what is in mince so I have added a link here for some suggestions for Magpie or any insectivore food:

It's a shame that we have to have such 'progress' with the denuding of the suburbs, the poor native birds and animals are being forced into extinction by what appears to be human greed.

Magpies sure do have a high level of 'sense' and will gravitate to where they feel the most secure.

Our Magpie nest is similarly built and withstood many 100km/hour winds that we have been hit with over the last few weeks.

BTW it looks like all of our latest batch of Magpie babies have managed to survive, some of the Wattle Bird and Tawny Frogmouth chicks have not been so lucky :(

You never know which birds are around when there are Magpies present as they are renowned mimics !

How is your 'limping' Magpie going?

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missmypinetree 4 years ago

@ Agvulpes ..she's fine .. there's nothing wrong except for a tiny little white scaly bump where her injury was .. she's the one whose made the nest in the pine over the road (with her mates help)... 1 of her offspring has made one in the other direction.. am not sure where but they both come for the mince.. I never ever saw them as a group of 4 again .. only ever 3 ..but i see about 5 or 6 different ones at different times he might be one of them!!

I wish my story ended there but the property over the road is getting bulldozed soon and 8 units are getting built there it's on a lengthy hold at the moment as trees were cut down illegally last summer.. could be a couple of months could be a couple of years .. not sure.. i try not to think about it's a double block too!! They will have to find yet another tree eventually ...

haha year of the Tiger hey ..? Interesting but I wont hold my breath lol

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@missmypinetree...It's good to hear that another Magpie has survived:)

I've been doing some more research and it has been suggested that if mince is being fed to the Magpie a small amount of 'calcium' powder should be added to help the growth of their bones and beak.

When a Magpie reaches adult hood and moves on they are very hard to identify aren't they?

What people will do in their quest for money, I hope that the perps get their just deserts :)

Al 4 years ago

With our injured maggies I usually mix a tiny bit of dog calcium powder in their mince for a few days, usually helps

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Al that is a great tip to help the Magpies back to health. To help our readers where would you get the 'dog calcium powder' ? and is it the same calcium as humans use?

It would probably help baby Magpies if they got some of that calcium powder as well!

Annie 4 years ago

Hi @agvulpes. I have been watching a family of magpies in our garden in Canberra over the past few years. Yesterday I saw one do something quite strange. It was lying in the garden bed with its wings spread out on the ground. At first I thought it was dead. But when I went up for a closer inspection it got up and moved away. As I watched it walked over to another garden bed and laid down again. It looked quite hot as it had its beak open, so I placed a container of water nearby and left it alone for a little while. There was another magpie in the garden too, who was just walking around and eating bugs as normal. When I came back to check a few hours later the birds were gone.

I haven't seen a magpie lie down before. Have you ever observed this behavior?

brad 4 years ago

it was probably having a sunbake,

Brad 4 years ago

I have fed a pair of magpies for 5 years and the mother always comes in on a hot day and lays in the dirt with wings spread out . The father will usually just perch up on our garden bed to sunbake and turn his head up to the sky, sorta looks like he is getting sun on his neck.

It has been a disaster for me with my magpies this year, I had a similar situation with the baby maggie we had this year, It was flying for about a month and then it seemed to have a lame wing and didn't fly for 2 days and was perching on the ground at the back of my house so I caught it at night with a blanket as I didn't want any cats to get it. I left it at the vet who then rang back and said nothing was wrong with it's wing and that they have transferred it to the wildlife centre who I then rang and told them that as soon as it is ready I want to pick it up and give it back to the parents because they were at my house most days since looking for it and calling for it. But the wildlife centre has been messing me around and today they told me they have already released it !!!

I just think that they lost track of which magpie was mine and were a bit lazy with details of where the magpie came from.

Then to top it all of Misses Maggie was hit by a car and killed today so know I only have Mr Maggie left. I am shattered about Misses Maggie as she has been calling my house home for 5 years and has raised 7 babies in that time. Every morning she would tap on my kitchen window with her beak to get our attention so we would feed her and she would her babies in our garden all day while she went off with the Mr Maggie.

After all that my question is will Mr Maggie get another partner and stay in his territory or will he move on seen as he is the only magpie left now ?

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KrisL 4 years ago from S. Florida

Beautiful hub! I enjoyed reading the dialogue in the comments also. Both you and others are such thoughtful and generous nature lovers.

Sharing with followers.

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chef-de-jour 4 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

Very interesting hub about a characterful bird. When I first visited Oz in 89 one of the first birds I heard was the magpie. A wonderful haunting melodic tumble of song that flows through the gum trees and onto the pavements. Unforgettable sound.

I also experienced their territorial instincts - being swooped on by a pair when I inadvertently got too near their nest!

A stupendous bird, one of many in your beautiful country.


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Ashli Eker 4 years ago from Australia

magpies are the bane of our lives. Raise your hand if you have ever been swooped by one of the little bastards during nesting season? *I*

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missmypinetree 4 years ago

@Brad I am very sorry to hear about Misses Magpie.

I dread the same thing happening to the ones from here

I hope he finds a new mate soon!

Hopefully their baby is okay I can't believe how messed around you were by the vet/wildlife centre! And to tell you there was nothing wrong with its wing? Something sounds amiss, maybe they did mix them up.. either way you will never know so there's not much you can do. Let us know how Dad Maggie is going :)

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CJofEternalMother 4 years ago from Bendigo, VIC, Australia.

I work at Magpie books Woolgoolga, NSW, Australia. In fact I am there now :)

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Londonlady 4 years ago

Australia has BEAUTIFUL birds! It's my dream to travel there and see them (all hopefully!) and if I get a chance, maybe even study one. Great hub!

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

To all of the readers posting 'spam' ! It is not allowed on this site and will be deleted even if it is disguised with a nice comment. So please no spammy comments or links OK?

You know who I mean :)

Just to reiterate, this article is about Magpies and related stories and we do love sharing and helping each other with advise about rearing and feeding Magpies and their young.

Cheers Agvulpes

Now that I have got that off my chest I will answer genuine comments:)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

G'day @Annie and thanks for sharing your story.

I have had this same experience twice now!

I agree with you, the first time I thought the Magpie was dead! but on drawing closer it moved away, on the second occasion it was a baby Magpie and it stayed where it was and I moved away so as not to scare the bird.

On both these occasions the ambient temperature was in the high 30sC after a run of cooler days. After discussing this behaviour with other bird lovers we put it down to the Magpies trying to find a cool spot (much the same as a dog will do in the hot summer).

I have an idea that birds (like dogs) do not sweat but use a form of panting to dissipate the heat from their body? Maybe someone with a bit more knowledge on this could let us know?

I think you did exactly the right thing putting out water to drink, another idea if you have something big enough is to make a bird bath maybe perhaps out of an old washing dish and put it out in the shade of a tree so the Magpies can have a cooling bath and dry off and preen themselves high in the tree away from predators!

Thanks Annie for sharing and please let us know if you see your Magpies again! :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Brad, wow... Brad let me say first off that I feel for your loss. Other people possibly think that we are quite mad when we talk about how much we get attached to birds, especially Magpies.

Maybe it's because Magpies exhibit what appear to be human traits. Regardless of the outcome I believe that you did the right thing taking it to the Vet, if you had not done anything and the poor baby magpie had been attacked by a predator you would have felt a lot worse. It's unfortunate that we are not blessed with 20-20 hindsight.

However I don't blame you for being p****d off with the Wildlife centre for releasing the magpie however depending on locations it just may find it's way home again?

It is uncanny how the Magpies know when to come for their feed it is almost like they have a built-in time clock:)

Hmm... you question has got me thinking pretty hard! My guess is that it would depend on each individual magpie on whether to take another mate? If you look at it as a parallel to human nature you would have to know the history of each bird like age (is he still capable of reproducing?) I am a firm believer that nature runs it's own course and there is a strong subconscious urge for 'survival of the species'

So my qualified answer would be: Yes, if he is still young enough to reproduce he will find another partner!

Brad thanks a heap for sharing and chin up mate keep the feed up and you may attract another family of Magpies.

Lets know how things get on ?

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tebo 4 years ago from New Zealand

What a lovely hub. It started out as an information hub that turned in to a personal experience with magpies, and what a lovely experience apart from the poor fledgling, but atleast you were there to help them. Thoroughly enjoyed, thanks.

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Krisl. Until I wrote this Hub I had no idea that others felt the same way that I do about the Magpie, it gives one a 'warm fuzzy' feeling to know that I am not alone and there are other human beings who actually do care about the Native birds of this wonderful country.

Thank you so much for such a kind comment and sharing with others. Hopefully this Hub may bring others into loving and caring for our beautiful little creatures. :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@chef-de-jour thanks for dropping by and adding to the mystique surrounding our wonderful Magpie.

Yes you are so right to describe them as 'characterful' they are full of character with their beautiful lyrical voice you so perfectly describe as "A wonderful haunting melodic tumble of song that flows through the gum trees and onto the pavements. Unforgettable sound", down to their very protective nature safeguarding their family. Although proud in statue they are arguably not as beautiful to look at as some of our other birds but non the less the Magpie is a standout bird in any ones language.

I don't think any one can claim they have 'seen' Australia unless they have had the same experiences as your self.

Thanks so much for sharing it is great to 'see' the Magpie through a tourists eyes :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Ashli Eker, "magpies are the bane of our lives" Perhaps you have written this back to front?

I believe that Magpies inhabited this place way before we 'humans' and we 'humans' are destroying Magpie and other birds habitats at a rate that they might not have time to 'evolve' the solution!... So who is the 'bane' of who's life?

Yes they do swoop and I have been swooped many times but as I have said in many comments, Magpies exhibit human traits so I'll put this to you!

If someone came between a Human parent and their unprotected child in a threatening manner (remember to Magpies we would seem like giants) don't you think that Human parent would react in a way to protect their child? I am sure that I would...!

So what I'm saying is that maybe during breeding season you should cut Magpies some slack and perhaps when venturing out either avoid the danger area or wear some 'protection':)

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loveofnight 4 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

Awesome, this hub is not only useful but very interesting as well. I am so glad that things got on after the injured baby was removed. I am truly a bird lover and would love being in your back yard right now just taking part in the union that you have formed with these guys.Great hub, thanks for the info

Dawn 4 years ago

That was a lovely story. We currently have mum & Dad and 2 babies, One we have called cheeky, and the other is scaredy cat. We are currently feeding them, and cheeky (aptly named) is getting closer. So much so that if there is a ranch slider open he / her will come inside.

Steve 4 years ago

I've been feeding a family of Magpies for 5 years each summer and over the breeding season and have been advised that under no circumstances should you feed a Magpie raw meat as it contains too much fat and pretty much no calcium. If the birds eat nothing but raw meat their skeletons eventually collapse and they cannot walk of fly. Ever seen a Magpie with 1/2 a beak? That's caused by not getting enough Calcium. There's a special mixture (expensive) that you can make for them or you can rehydrate high quality dry puppy/cat food like Supercoat. Generally, the product with the highest protein and lowest fat is the one I go for these days.

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@missmypinetree I echo your sentiments regarding Brad's Magpie family and I hope that Dad Magpie does find another mate this season!

It sounds like Brad did not get the full story on the Vet/Wildlife event. Mix-up? More than likely! Human error or lack of care, or another case of the 'almighty dollar' coming to the fore?

MMPT thanks for the comment:) and btw how is your Magpie family faring in all of the heat we are getting in Victoria?

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@CJofEternalMother @ Magpie Books! What an unusual name for a book shop, I must look it up whenever I am in the area. Thank you for sharing :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Londonlady, we do have a very large number of Birds in Australia, many of them are stunning in their beauty and I feel that you would probably need a proverbial life time to study them all?

As I have said before the Australian Magpie although arguably not the most beautiful bird is very close to being the most interesting (in my opinion anyway :))

Thank you for the visit and lovely comment :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@tebo. Thanks for dropping by and leaving such a lovely comment :)

My experiences with Magpies go back many years, some have been sad but they are far outweighed by my pleasant experiences.

Judging from the comments that have appeared on this Australian Magpie Hub I am not alone in my affection for these often maligned birds. I am sure that there are many more untold stories about this wonderful bird?

Thanks again for your kind comment :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@loveofnight. Thanks so much for dropping in and leaving a comment.

When dealing with wild birds I feel that you need to be realistic... from my observations it seems that the Magpie families soon get on with their lives and look after the survivors.

It's always nice to meet another bird lover and you certainly would have loved being in our back yard recently as the last few days have been 'hot' and Oliversmum and myself have so enjoyed watching the various birds such as the Magpies and Wattle Birds cool themselves down in the bird bath which required topping up at least 3 times a day.

Thanks again for dropping by :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Dawn thanks so much for dropping by and sharing your Magpie story with us :)

You will find that they will come to trust you more and more and eventually you will have them eating out of your hand.

If this is your first Magpie experience please let me add a small word of caution: Keep in mind that they are wild birds and should never become dependent on you for their main feed.

You will find that the wrong kind of food will be detrimental to Magpies and other birds. I have placed links above to recipes for 'proper' Magpie diet.

Thanks again for sharing and please let us all know how your new found friends are faring ? :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Steve.Thanks for the great comment, which echos my own sentiments!

I would like to quote from the 'Bird Care and Conservation Society's' own web site:

"If you feel that you must feed wild magpies we recommend the formula below. Only feed a small amount per day so that the birds will rely on natural food sources that will provide ALL their dietary requirements.

Formula 1 can Pal puppy food

Wheat germ

Heinz High Protein baby cereal

Wombaroo insectivore mix - (available through your vet, or pet shop)

One tablespoon chopped parsley

One chopped hard-boiled egg

Half a cup of grated hard cheese ie- Old Bitey

One tablespoon of calcium carbonate

All of the above ingredients must be used.

If any are left out nutritional deficiencies can occur

Add equal amounts of Heinz high protein baby cereal, wheat germ, and Wombaroo insectivore mix to the can of Puppy pal (one spoon of each at a time) until the mix is a moist crumble. Add the grated cheese, parsley, egg and calcium carbonate." [end quote]

We must not be too kind to our feathered friends as we may well be 'killing them with our kindness!

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missmypinetree 4 years ago

Hello Agvulpes they are very good thank you! My one with the bumpy leg (and her 2 pals) were just talking to me yesterday (i.e badgering me for some mince lol)

The heat was shocking I had to work a very long shift that day but my lovely son put a bowl of water out for them as he said their mouths were open.. I saw them drenched after the downpour the next morning lol .. they manage well don't they ? .. and i have good news re. the property development it could be another 6 years before anything happens.. *fingers crossed*

The babies are out of the nest although im not sure where.. my guess is still in the gardens of the double block.. I have not seen any yet but i think they're okay neighbour would let me know if something happened to any of them ..which is awesome :)

sandyv 4 years ago

Love this hub and so good to know that there are others who love these amazing birds. We have had a family living on our acreage for years and last week a fledgling fell out of the nest. He had a badly broken leg. I took him to a vet who is a friend. I had a bad experience with a wildlife hospital. My friend said he would have to amputate or euthanaise. As Mum and Dad are still here I asked him to amputate. All went well and he is doing great (four days after surgery) however Mum and dad seem to have lost interest in him and I am now fearful that he will not be able to be returned to the wild as he is becoming very dependant on me. Mum nd Dad were feeding him and fussing over him but not now. I hate birds in cages and am not sure sure what to do from here on in. Of course I will care for him but was wondering if anyone has had this happen and what the outcome was. I really love this little fella and want to the right thig.

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@missmypinetree,G'day to you :) umm... just a small reminder to all about the mince? As it has been mentioned before do your best to add some 'calcium' to the mince, it helps the Magpies bones and beak (specially the babies) Read the special diet mentioned above if you want the correct diet!

Our Magpie family also suffered during that heat wave and spent a lot of time drinking and bathing in our bird bath.

Some Wattle Birds and even some Willy Wag Tails came and cooled off. I reckon that birds in general cope better with rain than they do with heat?

Magpies with open mouths is a sure sign that they are feeling the heat and please pass my congrats on to your son for thinking about our feathered friends.

Great news about the property development with that sort of forecast anything could happen!

It sounds like you have a nice little network there. Everyone looking out for the Magpies!!

However we should not forget about the other species, if there are Magpies you can be sure there will be Wattle Birds and maybe some Willy Wag Tails not that far away.

Thanks for the update and keep up the good work:)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

G'day sandyv and thanks for sharing your Magpie story with us :)

That was quite a big decision you made on the poor little Magpies behalf.

I am not surprised that the family have 'disowned' the little fella as the code of nature seems to be 'survival of the fittest' Having said that I have seen a number of birds with one leg and they seem to hold their balance very well. Can your baby Magpie actually fly?

I agree with you about birds in cages but if you are going to look after this baby you will have to provide some sort of 'roost' so that it is protected from predators.

The first thing (seeing that you will be it's main food source for some time) is to organise the proper diet for your new baby. To save you some time here is the diet again:

I would like to quote from the 'Bird Care and Conservation Society's' own web site:

"If you feel that you must feed wild magpies we recommend the formula below. Only feed a small amount per day so that the birds will rely on natural food sources that will provide ALL their dietary requirements.

Formula 1 can Pal puppy food

Wheat germ

Heinz High Protein baby cereal

Wombaroo insectivore mix - (available through your vet, or pet shop)

One tablespoon chopped parsley

One chopped hard-boiled egg

Half a cup of grated hard cheese ie- Old Bitey

One tablespoon of calcium carbonate

All of the above ingredients must be used.

If any are left out nutritional deficiencies can occur

Add equal amounts of Heinz high protein baby cereal, wheat germ, and Wombaroo insectivore mix to the can of Puppy pal (one spoon of each at a time) until the mix is a moist crumble. Add the grated cheese, parsley, egg and calcium carbonate." [end quote]

Sandy thanks again for sharing and please keep us informed how your new charge is coping?

sandyv 4 years ago

Hi agvulpes and thank you for answering. Yes I am following the diet and he has been feeding very well until today. He is trying to fly. I take him out in the morning and late afternoon and let him flap around on the grass. I was hoping he might try and feed himself but he has no interest in that. He has been growing and generally looking very well until today. It has been very hot though. I have now realised just how much work he is. The house is a mess as all I seem to do is feed, water and exercise the little fella. I have a big cage I keep him in and if he gets through this I am doubtful he will be ok to let go. Not sure I made the right decision, but if he comes good it will be worth it, if not then it will be a heartbreaking decision to euthanaise. At the end of the day it be be in what is his best interest.

sandyv 4 years ago

Very sad day. Had to have the little fella euthanaised as he developed paralysis in his one good leg. Despite me doing everything possible to make this work it just didn't. One good thing that has come about is I really appreciate how intelligent these birds are and what great characters they have. I have really fallen in love with them.

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

G'day sandyv and thanks for keeping us informed.

It is indeed a sad decision to make but in the long run I'm sure that it will turn out to be the best one, if not the only one, you could have made. It would have been a shame to keep him/her locked up in a cage for the rest of it's life, these birds (Magpies) do not belong in cages!

Moving on to happier things, now that you have been bitten by the Magpie bug I'm sure that you will be adopted by another Magpie family and have some really great times with them.

We had a family of four Magpies on our front porch today squabbling with the Wattle Birds for food.

Tomorrow is forecast to be in the high range so we will be keeping the bird bath topped up for the Magpies and Wattle birds to keep cool.

So Sandy cheer up and don't beat yourself up, you have done what you believed in, acquired a great deal of information and quite possibly had a life changing experience.

Please let us know how your Magpie interaction continues :)

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raincitygirl 4 years ago from Vancouver

I love magpies too...this was lovely to read. Hope to read more from you!

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

It's great to meet another Magpie lover and from the other side of the world as well :) Thanks for dropping by and leaving a kind comment:)

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GetitScene 4 years ago from The High Seas

I went to Balaklava High School as a kid and the magpies in the trees surrounding the oval (sports field for you yanks) used to dive bomb us all the time to let us know what the boundaries of their territories were.

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

You don't know you are alive until you have had the experience of a Magpie 'swoop' :)

@GetitScene, thanks for dropping in and sharing your Magpie experience with us.

When we were kids we did not know too much about the Magpie then and thought that it was only a territorial thing with them!

Now with more experience we understand the Magpie a bit better and realise that they are doing what we would all do, that is protect their family.

I hope you are enjoying your trip on the high seas and seeing some marvelous sights:)

QGob 4 years ago

... is it possible that the birds are trying to kill parasites. They lie spread out in the baking hot sun with wings spread out on backing hot soil? Any parasites on their wings or body would be cooked by the hot soil and/or cooked by the hot sun? I have never seen the birds do it on a cooler day where arguably they would benefit more from sunbathing, they always seem to do it when it is 30+ oC and in the middle of the hottest part of the day.

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

Qgob that is a great observation! Birds especially Magpies do need a way of getting rid of the parasites as they can interfere with their flying movements. I suppose we could compare it with we humans going into a sauna :) To reinforce that most of the Magpies are smart enough to find some shade or water when not 'sun-baking'

Thanks for giving us that very interesting piece of information :)

QGob 4 years ago


What made me think of it (in part) is that bees can kill hornets by mobbing them and buzzing frantically to warm the wasp up beyond the temperature that the wasp can stand. The bees in effect cook the wasp from the outside. The bees can stand the slightly higher temperature.

Therefore, I wondered if the Magpie can handle the hot bath long enough to kill of any parasites without doing itself any harm

Video of bees killing hornet by heating the hornet up:

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Qgob, that's a very interesting video and I would suggest it is not for the faint of heart =0(

I have done some further reading on the parasite idea of yours and you are definitely on the right path! and I quote:

"The most important reason for sunning, however, is to maintain feather health. Sunning can dislodge feather parasites because the excess heat will encourage insects to move to other places in a bird's plumage. This will give the bird easier access to get rid of those parasites when preening, and birds are frequently seen preening immediately after sunning. It is essential to get rid of these parasites – the tiny insects that infect feathers can cause problems for a bird's flight, insulation and appearance, all of which can impact its survival."

So I reckon that is why we see our magpies do the 'play dead' act on a hot day!

Thanks again for the great tip:)

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pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

these photographs are exquisite. I would get nothing done all day if I had birds like that in my yard. It is hard enough to tear myself away from the Cardinals that flock to the yard. These look as though they have been painted...which of course they have by our wondrous Artist. Thank you for sharing this information and these photos with us.

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@pstraubie thankyou for your kind comment and yes we do have problems tearing ourselves away from watching our Magpie and wattle bird friends as they play and compete with each other for food and territory.

It is indeed unfortunate that we don't have the Cardinal bird in our neck of the woods I would love to see them in their finery :)

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dobo700 4 years ago from Australia

Some interesting facts in this hub. Good to see some other ozzy content.

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@dobo700 : G'day mate how goes it? Thanks for dropping by and checking out the Magpies :)

Belcaesar 4 years ago

I come searching for the answer to the "play dead" thing and founf all this fantastic information. I thought I was the only Magpie nut .. My husband and I can be sitting in our lounge and our family of three magpies will come in the back door and sit on the dog bed and sing .. We have finally convinced our Rotty that they are not a threat. Sometimes our Rotty pepa will lay on her bed with her already mauled bone beside her and the magpie child cannot help by try her out by pecking her bone .. She leaves them be but sometimes she gives them a "boo" .. Not a bark or anything but just a jolt of the head .. I am sure you can see her have a chuckle afterwards .. She will often share her dry food with them .. The magpies always let us know when they need some attention .. Our family of three consists of a very confident mum, a cautious dad and a checky child. Thank you so mu for a wonderful read..

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Belcaesar G'day and welcome to the 'I'm a Magpie Nut' Club lol

Thanks for sharing your great story!

If more people would invite their Magpie friends into their lives I'm sure that there would be a lot less 'angst' in the world? Isn't that what life is all about, sharing this wonderful world that some people seem intent on tearing apart?

Your rotty, 'pepa'?, must have a lovely maternal instinct to share her food with another species.

Your story conjures up wonderful 'mind' images and I hope you have saved some photos of these lovely get-togethers?

Thanks again for sharing and I'm sure our readers would love to hear more about how your family of three magpies are progressing, I know that I would, so please keep us up to date :)

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Clives-Mum 4 years ago

Hello! I've read with great interest the story of your magpies. And also posts from all. From most of the posts on here, I've gathered that magpies are generally a family. About 5 months ago, we had a little lone soul come to visit....he's still on his own, and seems to have become quite dependent upon us. He's even gotten used to our yappy little jealous dog chasing him at every given opportunity....although he'd never hurt him, and "Clive" (our maggie) tends to treat this as a game!! So, "Clive".... He comes along early each morning, sitting in the tree and warbling away, singing for his breakfast. If the dog is still upstairs asleep with my husband, and I'm sitting out having a coffee on my own, he will come walking along our deck and get quite close, as if to say "C'mon.....where's brekkie???". He's even learned to do the 'attention seeking whistle", which I've been teaching him to do, and when I call him with that, he will come along. He spends a LOT of every day sitting in the tree just outside the door singing away, peeping in the windows, and will walk right in the back door if Puppy isn't watching. We also have a bird bath, which he loves to wash down in and drink from. Anyway, waffling on here........ I was wondering, if you may know why he is a 'loner'???? I always thought that they came in pairs, or families. I kinda feel sorry for him! Oh, and he's also trying really hard to learn the "Skippy Whistle", which I've been teaching him! Dear little thing he is.

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Belcaesar 4 years ago

Thanks agvulpes, , Pepa does have a wonderful nature.. She hates the uncontrollable pair of unruly yappy dogs next door but loves the magpie family.when I sometime make cakes and carve them up into shapes to decorate I often throw the crumbs out .. It is a battle of the quickest between the Maggies and pepa who gets there first to enjoy the spoils .. I will grabs some pics and give you a look when I get a chance .. Greg and I will be moving just after mid year when we purchase another house and wish we could take the family with us .. I know we can't but I almost want to put them in the contract of purchase for the person buying this house that they take care of the family .. I know I am going to worry about them .. Night night for now magpie nutters .. Belcaesar x

Natasha 4 years ago

I love magpies and we have many in the yard but two special ones. I have trained one to sit on my arm for food. I also have another magpie that may have been orphaned and treats me as his mother follows me in the backyard will stand on my shoulder or lap and walks around the kitchen while I am cooking or cleaning.

One thing I would like to know. Is there any way you can tell if they are male or female?

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agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

This bird really looks like Starling (Sturnus contra) in my country. I see here Magpie can be very tame too as a pet. Thank you for sharing hubs about birds that I like very much.

Brad Cobb 4 years ago

We had a magpie that was friendly. In woodland and watch us working as we went about our day.

Twice we had to take the magpie from our cat who never seemed to get the idea that it was not to eat.

Belcaesar 4 years ago

So how did everyone fare in the flood .. We seemed to have lost our family, however I saw mum this morning and dad not a feather hiccup in his wings .. I am so worried for them. I hope they come back soon. Don't think the dad is terribly injured, he just seems deshevelled somehow.. Wll keep an eye and ear out .

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missmypinetree 4 years ago

i still have my family of three .. i haven't seen any of the babies .. maybe there are too many stray cats :(

sorry to hear about your magpies Bel :(

@ natasha .. i read that the female is the only one that builds the nest im not sure if that's true and apparently the females necks aren't as pure white as the males .. don't quote me on any of that though lol

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Kellbel 4 years ago

Thank you so much for posting your love and experience for these beautiful birds.

We moved into our newly built house just over a year ago which backs onto a farm and hillside. We have had a family of 3 magpies adopt us since moving in and I really love them. While they don't come so close to be hand fed, they have visited us every day twice a day since moving in. I have several water spots for them and feed them chicken (not a lot). A few months ago during breeding season our neighbours said they found a baby magpie that must have fallen from their tree. They looked after it before releasing it and to my surprise my family of 3 maggies turned to 4! It has been so awesome to see the baby follow the dad and the dad feed the baby.

We have noticed that we have had 2 pairs of galahs visiting our backyard for a quick drink. They seem to get along with our maggie family so I wanted to encourage them to visit more and put a bit of wild bird seed in a round tray hoping they will eat it! To my surprise I haven't seen them eat it yet but I now have a family of 7 cockatoos that come to eat and drink! I thought this was lovely and they are gorgeous looking birds. However, this morning when I had a chance to watch my maggies finish eating and the cockatoos began to arrive I noticed the cockatoos just took over. One of the maggies tried to come back after the cockatoos were gone but a cockatoo returned and maggie was intimidated by the bigger bird. I tried to shoo the cockatoo away and it did and maggie went for some water. Do you think I should encourage the cockatoos to leave? My maggies will always come first and I consider them part of our family. I don't want the cockatoos to drive them away :(. Also how could I get them to hand feed? They have come close but are very wary ...which is still a good thing. Thank you for your help and reading my story :D

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

Hi fellow Magpie lovers I'm sorry I have not got back to answer your comments but it's good to see you have been chatting amongst yourselves ?

I will definitely answer your comments starting from the top so hang in there. As the old saying goes: 'everything comes to those that wait' :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@ Clives-Mum. G'day and thanks so much for sharing your lovely Magpie story.Firstly let me say that I'm sorry for taking so long to reply to your comment:)

It is my experience that Magpies do travel in pairs or families.

I have no idea about the age of Clive? but here are some suggestions that may fit the scenario.

If he (I will presume that your Clive is a he) is a juvenile bird he may have been 'told' to go and find his own mate. If this is the case you will find one day that Clive will bring a friend to visit you? It may take a while for this to happen ( may be 2 years)

Another suggestion is that if Clive is actually a Clivette and been isolated from the family for being a female. You may find that one day she will just 'disappear' having been wooed by a male Magpie.

A lot of birds and in particular Magpies are good mimickers and it is good to know that you are teaching Clive a signal to call you. I don't think you need worry about the bird with your Puppy, I would be more worried about your Puppies welfare. lol

As I am reading your comment our family of Magpies are indeed enjoying a bath in the humid weather we are having here in Victoria.

These Magpies really work on we humans don't they? and to such and extent that we tend to forget that they are "wild" animals and need to be treated in such a many that we do not unbalance their own 'Eco-system'.

Once again thanks for sharing your Magpie story and welcome to the Magpie Nutters club:)

btw please keep us informed on how Clive is doing?

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Kellbel 4 years ago

I have been reading through the posts and comments and I am learning so much about my maggie family! However, I am absolutely terrified I am doing them harm now by feeding them :'(

I think they are dependent on me for food...the four of them visit twice a day at the same time like clock work. I feed them chicken (thats what a friend told me who said she contacted a wildlife rescuer told her) which I thought was okay. Now I am scared I am killing them! :( I dont want to harm them and I feel like crying thinking that I am doing them all harm.

I love them so much and every morning the sit by my bedroom window a sing.

Have I caused them too much harm?? :(

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@ Kellbel (all other posters please excuse me answering Kellbel first but it does seem to require attention)

It seems like your Magpie family has you well trained! Welcome to the Club lol

I don't think that chicken as such will hurt your Magpies over a short time but over a longer period of time certain deficiencies may show up.

If you want to feed the Magpies a more balanced diet to supply all the growth requirements I have posted a diet underneath here that I got from this web site: I would like to quote from the 'Bird Care and Conservation Society's' own web site:

"If you feel that you must feed wild magpies we recommend the formula below. Only feed a small amount per day so that the birds will rely on natural food sources that will provide ALL their dietary requirements.

Formula 1 can Pal puppy food

Wheat germ

Heinz High Protein baby cereal

Wombaroo insectivore mix - (available through your vet, or pet shop)

One tablespoon chopped parsley

One chopped hard-boiled egg

Half a cup of grated hard cheese ie- Old Bitey

One tablespoon of calcium carbonate

All of the above ingredients must be used.

If any are left out nutritional deficiencies can occur

Add equal amounts of Heinz high protein baby cereal, wheat germ, and Wombaroo insectivore mix to the can of Puppy pal (one spoon of each at a time) until the mix is a moist crumble. Add the grated cheese, parsley, egg and calcium carbonate." [end quote]

It is a magical day indeed when you can be awakened by the beautiful voices of Magpies.

Kellbel thanks for sharing and try to get the birds to fend for themselves just in case you will not always be available to supply their needs. Please keep in touch I'm sure we would all like to know how your Magpies are progressing :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Belcaesar - sorry to take so long to get back to you, we have been very busy over the last couple of weeks, the days just seem to evaporate.

Our little fellow 'Öliver' is not so generous with the Magpies (he is Toy Poodle x shiphoo ) he just tolerates them and would not dream of

What breed of dog is your Pepa (is she named because she looks like Pepper ? :))

I sure would love to see photos of the mad scramble.

Just a suggestion but when you move-out why not leave a little note to the new owners about how you have cultivated a relationship with your Magpie family the new tenants my like to continue the relationship. Either way they will at least understand when the Magpie family line up at the back door lol (I'd like to see that the first day it happens :)

When you have settled into your new place I'm sure that it won't be long before you are adopted by another friendly Magpie family.

Cheers for now :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Belcaesar (response to 13 day old comment) While the East Coast were experiencing Floods our Victorian landscape has been scorched with Bushfires. As of today over half of our land mass here has been burnt and there are still a number of fires out of control. FYI have a look at the CFA website for the current situation: I'm really feeling for our poor wild life in these fires :(

You seem to be having troubles of your own with your magpie family ! Has there been any further development?

I don't like the sound of Dad Magpie being messed up it seems like they may have been in some sort of attack, maybe a stray dog or an eagle perhaps?

Cheers for now :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Natasha - G'day and thanks for sharing your Magpie story, it would seem we should welcome you to our Magpie Nutters club :)

Your Magpie family seems to have you well 'trained' lol

I sure would love to see them doing their 'thing'

Male or Female ? In my experience the ádult Male Magpie (alpha) is a slightly larger bird and have a much more confident / aggressive demeanor than female Magpies. The males 'white' plumage is generally more defined on the back than the female. The female and younger birds are more mottled on their backs.

You will also see that the young magpie has an almost completely dark beak but as they age the beak starts to 'whiten' from the head out to the point of the beak! I will post some images in the Hub above to give you a better idea :)

I have noticed that as a male baby ages it is usually invited to leave the family group and 'go find' a female Magpie to start it's own dynasty.

Thanks again for sharing and lets know how they are going?

cheers for now :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@agusfanini G'day to you and thanks for your kind comment. Although both birds Starling and Magpie are both passerines, family wise they are not related. We also have Starlings here in Australia and they are a smaller bird than our Magpie and they are nowhere near as friendly as the Australian Magpie.

Thanks again for dropping by and sharing with us!

Cheers :)

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agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia Author

@Brad Cobb, G'day Brad nice story and thanks for sharing! I'm surprised that both survived, I have seen Magpies protect themselves and their family and believe me it is not a pretty sight. They go straight for the eyes, it must be an instinctive 'thing' with them ?

Thanks for dropping by and sharing :)

Belcaesar 4 years ago

Hi Nutters,

Our Maggies all turned up after the storms .. Dad did look like he had gone through the front loader but seems to have come good. No more limps .. Pepa is a Rottweiler , full name is Seigertal Eileen Enid piglet Pepa. Eileen because she leans on everything, Enid because she is a sticky beak and hangs over the fence like Enid Sharples of Coronation street, piglet because she grunts and snorts all the time, not to mention snores.

She is a beautiful compliment to the Maggies but can't tolerate the crows hanging around trying to gain themselves a meal of what we have out for the Maggies or possums . She is receptive to the currawongs that sometimes gingerly join the Maggies but not the crows.

The Maggies are back in full force but in the middle of the horrific storm the family gained shelter on the back patio sitting on the outdoor setting being shielded by the backs of the chairs

We lost a huge branch in one of our trees which spooked them and that is when I lost track for a couple of weeks

We had a workman come in to discuss our kitchen and as he sat at our dining table near the back door he ever so softly said , do you know there are birds sitting at your back door.

Peace and harmony is now back in the belcaesar family.

Take care everyone


Bianca 4 years ago

Can you give me some insight to this situation- at dinner tonight, my 3 year old son says "look at that bird" and outside the window was a magpie, then it tried to get in the window. Now it's been hanging around our house all night trying different windows to get in, went outside before and it's asleep on our patio. Very very tame. I'm a little worried (old wives tales) saying they mean a death is coming in your household. Is there a reason it would be hanging around our house trying to get it all the windows and doors, still at 11pm (way past its bedtime).

Belcaesar 3 years ago

Hey bianca .. If the old wives tail is true I have been in trouble for a long long time as most of us nutters have.. Chances are he is the grown son of a close by family that has been asked to leave "the nest" and is looking for company .. Embrace it.. It is an amazing thing watching their antics and what a wonderful thing for your 3 yr old to experience, it beats watching tv. Talk to your bird and he will respond. Hope you have fun with it.

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@missmypinetree: sorry for the delay in this reply :) It's good to know that your family of three magpies is still intact:)

Have you heard anything about those Pine Trees being chopped down?

You are correct about the female magpies neck being not so white. I have included a picture above to give people some idea of the differences:)

I believe that both of the parent magpies gather stuff for the nest but maybe the mother Magpies puts it all together, further research required :)

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@Kellbel welcome to our little group of Magpie Nutters :)

Have you modified the diet for your little Magpie friends?

Yes Cockatoos can be a bit of a pest! We have found over the years that different food attracts different types of birds and fortunately Cockatoos and Magpies generally have differing tastes. eg Cockatoos tend to eat nuttier type foods and Magpies will go for meaty things such as mince meat etc..

You could try experimenting to see what food each type of bird likes. When you discover the differences try placing the different foods in separate locations to stop any squabbling:)

We find that birds such as Magpies and Wattle Birds don't seem to mind sharing (only the occasional fight lol)

On the other hand Magpies are very brave and when threatened can be aggressive towards other birds, I have seen them chase away predator birds such as eagles and hawks!

Getting Magpie to trust you enough to eat from your hand requires time and patience. We started by first finding out their favorite treat, then dropped bits of this treat on the ground to bring them closer and closer to the door.

When the magpie comes right up to the door. Try opening and closing the door while they are feeding, when they are used to that, just throw more treats out for them to eat, landing the treat closer and closer to the door.

When you feel confident enough, try offering a treat to the Magpie (it will probably be the dominant alpha male)

If he won't take it at first just drop it on the ground and close the door. Never act aggressively towards them, you must earn their trust!

Galahs are a very cautious bird and down here they just graze in the grass. In their own right they are a great bird to watch and have some great antics and react with each other in a comical way especially the young and the courting. We often see them hanging upside down from branches and doing all sorts of things to attract the opposite sex.

Please keep in touch and let us know your progress, you will have a great time with your Magpie family :)

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@Belcaesar. Glad to know that all is well with your 'family' of Magpies!

Wow your Pepa sure has a 'swell' name sounds right royal it does lol

She sounds like she has the 'pecking' order just right but I'm not to sure about the currawongs? When they turn up here (they must be just about due) the other birds don't like them at all, they are regarded as interlopers and the Magpies and wattle birds try to shoo them away!

We don't see too many crows down here few and far between thank goodness.

I hope that the branch did not do too much damage the weather seems to have just gone crazy!

Your family of Magpies must trust you very much if they will shelter under your roof line.

It's nice to know that everything is now back in harmony :)

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@Bianca, indeed very strange behaviour for a Magpie (are you sure it is a magpie ?)

I have never seen a magpie moving around at night, but we often hear them talking to each in the trees during the night.

My guess is the the poor bird may have been either disorientated, very hungry or seeing it's own reflection in the window.

If it was disorientated and it is tame it may have it's own human family somewhere and thought you house was it's 'home' base.

I don't believe in the old wives tales however to allay your fears it is my belief that the old wives tale originated from the English Magpie which is not related to our own Australian Magpie. :)

Belcaeser may be on the right track as well. There is every chance that your magpie has been 'kicked out' of his family to start one of his own.

If this is true then do as Belcaesar has suggested and embrace the situation!

If you have the time and the inclination it is a great opportunity to help educate your young son on Australian Wildlife.

Thanks for sharing your story :)

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@belcaesar; I agree with you that the old wives tale does not hold up here.

as the boys on Mythbusters might say 'Busted'.

I like your suggestion about the lad being 'rejected' it makes sense that he would not have had time to settle himself into a routine.

It's is a pity that Bianca did not give us a better description of the bird?

It would be a great starting point of learning about magpies for her young son.

Peter 3 years ago

I was wondering if some one could help me find a statue of a Magpie similar to the Western Suburbs Magpies Rugby League NSW.

BitDefender Internet Security 3 years ago

This is so Informative! I just wanted to tell you great work on the blog. You have a real niche on answering my questions.

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

G'day @Peter and thanks for the question. I have done a bit of research and cannot come up with any makers of statues for Magpies :(

The only suggestion I can make is to get in touch with the Magpies Rugby League Club and ask them if they have any statues of Magpies available. In the meantime I will keep looking so keep in touch OK?

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@BDIS thanks for dropping by my hub on the Australian Magpie and leaving such a nice comment:)

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Rob Clarke 3 years ago

Just would not know what to do without my Maggies, so entertaining and intelligent, although Dad is a bit of a dingle-brain sometimes.

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

G'day Rob. You got it right :) Magpies are way to intelligent. Although Dad Magpies seem to be as you say 'dingle brained' sometimes I'm sure there is a method in their madness, we just can't see it. lol

Our Magpies seem to be a bit scarce at the moment, they may possible be getting ready for a new breeding season ?

Robbie Anne 3 years ago

I live on the North Shore of Sydney and for 8 years I have befriended two Magpie families. In the bush at the south of my house live Dumbo & his wife Rachael.

In the bush at the east side of my home (I live next to a National Park) live Cecil & Cecily.

Both families come to my back veranda for hand feeding every day. Cecil & Cecily try not to come into Dumbo & Rachael's vision. If they do, the attack is on for young and old and Dumbo & Rachael attack them viciously until C & C return to their own 'area'.

Throughout the years both pairs have had many babies who soon join their parents in regular hand feeding on my back veranda.

My question: When the baby magpies are approx 5 months old & their feathers are becoming darker, the parents always turn on them in the cruelest way, until before long, their babies disappear and I never see them again.

Where do they go? Why do the parents drive them away?Right now D & R have 2 babies(Pork & Pie) & C & C have 3 babies (Camilla, Parker & Bowles.) They are all still being loving parents, but I am just expecting them to 'turn ' any day now.


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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

G'day Robbie and first of all let me thank you for sharing your Magpie story with the rest of us Magpie nutters :)

You have got yourself a thriving community of Magpies :)

I love the names you have given them and it would not surprise me if they responded to the names. As I have said many times Magpies are very intelligent!

It does not take long at all for the young Magpie to grasp the fact that Mum and Dad Magpies trust humans and will eventually start hand feeding. Although in my experience it is generally the Male Magpie that is more aggressive.

This leads me on to the reply to your question.

In a very similar vein to the Human family hierachy the Magpie family usually can have only one Alpha male and that, while he is strong enough to hold the title, will be the old Dad!

I'm sure that when the Parent Magpies judge junior to have grown strong enough, they 'encourage' the young Male Magpie to 'move-on' and go find a mate and start a new 'dynasty'.

Also, in a similar way as we do, the young female Magpies are kept under the parents wings until one of the aformentioned 'moved-on' males from another family come along and make a claim and as the saying goes they 'all live happily ever after'.

We should also consider that there is an inbuilt 'sense' that the Magpie 'gene' must stay pure and thrive and prosper!

Robbie, thanks again for sharing with us and we would love to hear more of your Magpie enecdotes :)

missmypinetree 3 years ago

@ agvulpes..and so you should be sorry! lol j/k my little family of three are still intact... even bumpy leg .. one calling VERY loudly at my door just tonight .. doing that 'sad' sound lol... they're sharing my back yard at the moment with a black and white stray cat that seems to have adopted me .. ive been trying to catch up with the neighbours to find out if anyone actually owns it .. and it's my pine tree that was chopped last year that dislodged my maggie family.. the pine tree over the road is different ..not as bushy.. but they still managed to fasten it on with wire.. still no sign of babies .. neighbour and i had falling out so yeah .. i don't think the babies made it out of his yard ...

missmypinetree 3 years ago

i think the black and white cat is more scared of the magpies than they are of it ..he/she is keeping its distance ..looks to me tho like its just had a litter or is about to ..i wish people were more responsible with their pets... i have two cats but they're not allowed out the front and have a back enclosed area...and a dog isn't a good suggestion finally dog free after 18 years :p

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@mmpt, thanks for the update and I'm pretty sure that the magpie would come out very well against a cat. Especially if the magpie had some support from it's family.

In my experience domestic cats usually stalk their prey, such as mice and lizards, mainly just for a bit of fun generally not for food. I believe that the cat would tend to leave bigger birds like Magpies alone and look for smaller prey.

I'm glad to hear that old Bumpy Leg is doing OK. I hope that I am not reading you right and your neighbors 'did away' with his Magpie babies.:(

I agree with you that people should be more responsible with their pets however you seem like a very responsible pet owner.

If I may make a suggestion regarding your stray cat?

Why not contact your council and report the stray cat? Some councils have traps to lend out and they will come and pick up the cat when it is caught!

Our Magpie families have fared pretty well over the hot dry summer we had down here and have been enjoying the cool baths that we keep for them. They also come knocking on the front door, teaching their juveniles the tricks of the trade. :)

Robbie Anne 3 years ago

Further to my chat 2 days ago about my two magpie families (Dumbo & Rachael. Cecil & Cecily).

My cat, Taeko, has befriended both magpie families. Every morning when Dumbo & Rachael come to my back veranda table for their brekkie, Taeko likes to eat hers along with the magpies. She sits next to them munching her food whilst I hand feed the birds their morning meat.

The babies, Pork & Pie then arrive for their meat, and also sit right alongside Taeko to eat it.

As I look out the window right now, Taeko the cat has fallen asleep on the outside table, and the 5 magpies are fluffed up and preening themselves within inches of her.

I have great photos of my Taeko with her magpie friends. Do you have an email address where I can send them?


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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@Robbie, Taeko seems to have a very comfortable relationship with your Magpies :)

We sure would love to see some photos ( I'm sure the other Magpie Nutters would agree) You can send them to my images email address: []

If you would like them placed in this Hub just make a note that you are giving me permission to publish your images and I will acknowledge you in the Hub. (btw other members can also send me their images to share)

I just love the names that you have given your Magpies :)

missmypinetree 3 years ago

@ agvulpes .. no he wouldn't 'do away' with them .. there's a new trampoline in his yard with VERY high sides im afraid that out of the corner of my eye one day i saw a black and white mess in it ..i just hope it wasn't what i think/thought.. he would be beside himself if that was the case..he loves the magpies too .. and about my stray cat i won't call council in yet .. just getting it a bit closer every day .. and still haven't enquired with neighbours..

and i'm 'down here' too lol more hot weather today! joy! (not) lol

@ Robbie .. i love Taeko the cat already lol

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

That is great to hear. I hate to think that someone would deliberately hurt our Fauna of any description :)

LOL I can 'see' you getting so attached to that stray cat that it will not be going anywhere! I bet you have even given it a 'name'?

Yep very hot today over 30C at the moment , our Magpies have had their baths closely followed by the Wattle Birds, however we are expecting a cool change tomorrow?

Doesn't it always rain over Easter Holidays lol

Yep that Taeko sure seems one laid-back cat for sure:)

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Birdyfriend 3 years ago

I live on the North Shore in Sydney and have been a bird lover for many years. I have been feeding many different species at my home without complaint for about 15 years. I had one Magpie family up until breeding season last year and then in September a huge amount suddenly appeared.

Unfortunately my street has changed. Many older residents have moved out and younger families have moved in. They aren't impressed (well one that I have seen) and have complained that the bird noises in the morning wake their children and have threatened to take legal action against me.

All the other birds have gone except for a group of about 15 magpies who still come every morning. Two of them do their territorial warble.

I am constantly stressed about neighbours watching my every move but I am more stressed because I worry that ceasing the feeding completely will make it difficult for the Magpies. I would appreciate your advice. many thanks.

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

G'day @Birdyfriend. Thanks for taking the time to post your Magpie story.

It is indeed sad that some of us do not appreciate the beauty ot what we call 'nature' which surrounds us :) especially our native Fauna and Flora. As the saying goes 'there is nothing more certain than change'!

With regard to neighbour complaints, each 'Council' in Australia would have their own by-laws regarding what would be regarded as 'excesive' noise I'm not sure what specific advise I could offer. Here are some suggestions:

1) Preempt any legal action and discuss this with a Council by-laws officer to see if you are actually breaking any law.

2)Ensure that you are feeding the Magpies and other birds the correct diet and not so much food that they have become reliant on you for food. (These things are no-nos with Authorities)

3) Don't stress too much! I'm sure that with some communication a compromise can be reached that is satisfactory to all parties :)

It is a shame that parents do not grasp this as an opportunity to encourage their children and show them the joys of Nature and bring them over to introduce them to your Magpie family and other native birds that you feed?

Thanks again for sharing and please keep us up to date with your Magpie family :)

Birdyfriend 3 years ago

Dear agvulpes, thanks very much for your feedback in regard to my Magpie quandary. I'm afraid I have ceased to feed them which makes me very sad.

Due to the aggressiveness of this one neighbour, it has stressed another member of my household and therefore I have had no choice.

I only fed them once a day in the morning with mince so I'm hoping their foraging skills will see them through. A few of the dominant warblers still come by hoping for a feed in the morning and strut around my back yard until they realise nothing is coming their way. Then they fly into another backyard. I'm sure a few other people in the street provide food as well, however I am the one who has been targeted.

Unfortunately it seems many people now are very intolerant and do not appreciate the fauna in their backyards.

Thanks again. I sign off with a :(

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

Birdyfriend, it is a sad state of affairs and very worrying when you can't even feed Magpies in your own back yard without being harassed !

On the bright side (if you can see one) I'm sure that the Magpies will have no problem going back to their native foraging for food, after all it has been their way for generations and they are a very resourceful bird.

It is my opinion that the Magpie is one of the most clever (if not the most clever) bird that I have come across:)

Thanks again for sharing your story unfortunately with no happy ending :( ... but who knows perhaps this is not the ending merely an interval :)

Robin Anne (Robbie) 3 years ago

Hi again from Ku-Ring-Gai Nat Park.

I have just read the story by your magpie friend who lives on Sydney's North Shore, where I also reside.

It so upsets me that some folk are unlucky and live near SUCH HORRID NEIGHBOURS. I mean, why on earth do these wildlife haters move to this area which just abounds in every type of magnificent bird and creature.

My neighbours are fantastic and give me their leftover meat scraps for my maggies Dumbo,Rachael, Pork, Pie, Cecil, Cecily,Camilla, Parker & Bowles. They also give me out of date apples for my wild Lorrikeets.

Oh well, maybe "the horrids" will wake up themselves in time!

Thank you again for putting my photos of my cat with his beloved maggie friends in your HUB. Cheers, Robbie & Taeko (puss).

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Robbieanne and I hope you and all you Magpie friends and Taeko are being treated well by the weather?

I also wonder about the motivation of some people in this world! It would be interesting to get 'the other side of the story' would it not?

I am a great believer in Karma and reckon that,sooner or later 'what goes around comes around' !

Robbie you are indeed a fortunate person to live in such a loving neighborhood.

On the Magpie front, here they seem to be busy on their nests so perhaps it may be an early spring?

As a matter of interest we have been blessed with visits from a King Parrot family and a family of Tawny Frogmouths!

Regarding you photos: 'you are very welcome' I'm sure our readers got a lot of pleasure seeing the interaction between Taeko and the Magpie clan:) I know that I got quite a kick from the images :)

Belcaesar 3 years ago

Hey Nutters , how is everyone ,, long time no hear .. Has been a busy time for me ..

A couple of months ago pepa was so excited .. She knows how to get my attention and to tell me she wants something .. She will sit in front of me and talk ,, no, not a bark but a talk ,, hard to explain .. So I told her to show me . Se led me to a corner of the yard and there was a dead maggie .. My heart sunk .. Looks like it had been there a while .. Wings spread .. Pepa is not a bird chaser so I knew it was not her. I moved the bird and pined and pined until I could see my three ... They came around for tucker and all three were fine ... Don't know what happened to this one but I was glad it was not my family ..

We are going to rent this house nowhere buy a new one so I hopefully will be able to let the tenants know about the birds .. Lts hope they love birds .. Agvulpes let me know how to load pics .. I have pics of pepa with my family do three

Have a maggienificent weekend guys x


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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

G'day Belcaesar and thanks for coming back with an update. Hope you are not too busy to stop and smell the roses now and again :)

It is always sad to see one of our winged friends lying there, passed away, I know the emotion you felt, hard to describe isn't it? It must have been a great relief when you found out it was not one of your family.

I'm glad to hear that your Pepa is well and is doing it's job, it is one clever dog :)

We sure would love to see some photos ( I'm sure the other Magpie Nutters would agree) You can send them to my images email address :[]

We seem to be getting an early spring here as the blossom is out and our local Magpies are searching for filling for their nests and the weather has been terrific

Thanks again for the update and look forward to seeing some images :)

Cheers agvulpes

jacoba 3 years ago

Hi. Can some one who knows about the behaviour of magpies please answer my question. A bit of a story first. I have known a female magpie for 20 years. She got a broken leg from a storm in 1993; which healed but always stayed crooked. Over the years she moved a bit further along the busy road where I live. (Acreages on one side). I still fed her 3 to 4 times a week. She had a much younger mate for the past 10 years (her first mate was killed on the road) and they raised many babies. The past 2 years Maggie was struggling with walking as both legs were very weak. Then last March a younger female came in her territory and the next day Maggie was gone. Never seen again. I believe she died as she became weaker and weaker in the months before she got missing. The new female became now the mate of the male. They recently built a nest and just the last 1 or 2 weeks they brought food to the nest. But yesterday sadly the female was killed by a car. The male is still there, but as I read that the chicks are exclusively fed by the females, I am very concerned for the chicks. The nest is very high up in the tree so no chance to look. What will happen now? Will the male take over the role of feeding? Anything I can do? If some one can help me here it is much appreciated. Thank you and greetings.

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

G'day jacoba and firstly let me welcome you to our little Magpie group and thank you for sharing your Magpie story.

After reading your story my thoughts are that your female Magpie has lost her battle with old age as I believe that a Magpie life span can vary from 20 to 25 years of age. It would also appear that she has had a pretty tough life and she was probably suffering a lot of pain.

Fit and well male Magpies soon pick a new mate. Magpies like most species seem to have a strong drive to keep the breed alive.

I have observed many magpie babies being fed and I can safely say that Mum and Dad Magpies share the feeding duties. This is a continuous task especially when there is more than one Magpie chick. I have even seen other members (aunts and uncles) of the Magpie family feed the chicks. However this would also depend on the hierachy of the family.

If you want to do something to support the chicks I would suggest to put out some food consisting of the correct diet, this is most important as the wrong diet will cause defects in the birds and deformaties can take place down the line. ( a recommended diet is posted below).

Place the food so that the dad Magpie can have easy access to 'harvest' the food and take it back to the nest.

I would like to quote from the 'Bird Care and Conservation Society's' own web site:

"If you feel that you must feed wild magpies we recommend the formula below. Only feed a small amount per day so that the birds will rely on natural food sources that will provide ALL their dietary requirements.

Formula :

1 can Pal puppy food

Wheat germ

Heinz High Protein baby cereal

Wombaroo insectivore mix - (available through your vet, or pet shop)

One tablespoon chopped parsley

One chopped hard-boiled egg

Half a cup of grated hard cheese ie- Old Bitey

One tablespoon of calcium carbonate

All of the above ingredients must be used.

If any are left out nutritional deficiencies can occur

Add equal amounts of Heinz high protein baby cereal, wheat germ, and Wombaroo insectivore mix to the can of Puppy pal (one spoon of each at a time) until the mix is a moist crumble. Add the grated cheese, parsley, egg and calcium carbonate." [end quote]

Jacoba I hope this has helped you and please let us know how things are going with your magpie family.

Darrin 3 years ago

Hello, good people. I have a magpie nest in my front garden, the unfortunate part is that the branch of the lovely tall eucalypt needs to be cut back. I will only be cutting the one branch off, as I want to keep the beautiful tree, but I want my magpie friends to stay close by. Do they tend to stay in the same tree? Can I do anything to encourage them to rebuild in the same tree or at least nearby?

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

G'day Darrin, now you have raised a curly question?

Yes in my experience Magpies are very territorial and will nest in the same nest time after time.

I have a feeling that if you cut down the branch holding their nest there is a big risk that you will force your Magpie friends to find another tree.

I would suggest that right now is not a good time to disturb Magpie nests as it is breeding season and there may be eggs in the nest. (we have some developing here now)

To keep them close by you could try feeding them so as to develop a relationship and they will not wonder far.

I hope I have been some help :) 3 years ago

About 4 years ago we had an injured magpie arrive on our front lawn. It had a nail sticking out of its foot, it appeared that this beautiful bird had been shot with a nail gun.

We fed and watered the bird, then rang Wires only to be told there was nobody available to assists us and we should take it to a Wires vet. We decided that the only thing a vet would do was to put this bird down.

As the bird responded to our care we decided to let nature take its course and over the next 12 months he survived very well despite the obvious problem with the nail. Then one day he arrived on the lawn minus the nail and presented quite proudly his new stump. From then on he was Stumpy, since then we have fed many of his children and at least 3 females, the first disappeared after breeding season, the second was sadly killed on the road, he called for her for days it was heart breaking, now we have number 3. She is the smartest and bravest, she accompanies him right onto our front yard, no hiding behind bushes. Unfortunately she does not seem to have any road sense, not like Stumpy who has learnt to listen for cars, lets hope she survives long enough to get some road sense.

Stumpy is now very much part of the family, I have to remember not to leave the front door open, he will walk into the lounge room if I am not careful. I am guessing he is about 6 years old and was very happy to read that Magpie actually live a long life.

Narelle 3 years ago


We had two baby Magpies blown out of the nest this week. We kept them one day and over night in a warm box as there was no sign of the parents. Then I made a 'nest' in a large ice cream container, punched holes in the bottom in case of rain, and put them back in the tree. The parents have now returned and are feeding them again. I worry about the cold nights we have had lately and was wondering if anyone knows if the parents will 'huddle' with the babies to keep them warm overnight.

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@robin. G'day Robin and thanks for sharing your great Magpie story. It is great to read that your Magpie family has bonded so well with your family.

It is incredible that people can be so cruel and do such horrible things to animals and birds.

It would be a very interesting read to find out how Stumpy got rid of the nail and finished up with a stump ?

Poor stumpy has not had much luck with his chosen partners but it looks like he has got himself a good female this time and may be on the way to creating a new Magpie / Stumpie dynasty. Lets hope so as Magpies do tend to lead long lives.

It is amazing to me in one way that with our human intervention of what we call progress in cutting down their habitat that these birds still trust we humans and bond with us so well.

In the last couple of days the Magpie family that we have been nurturing has now produced another batch of 2 chickens, they came down from the nest yesterday and are both already feeding themselves.

I am wondering if Stumpy is able to walk as against hop on his stump very easily ?

Cheers Robin and once again thanks for sharing your story :)

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

G'day Narelle :) It sounds like you have done exactly the right thing !

I have a feeling that if the parents are feeding them the Mum and Dad Magpie will not abandon their chick Magpies and keep them as warm as they deem necessary.

Narelle can you tell me if the chicks have feathers at all? If they have feathers it is very possible that the wind did not actually blow them out of the nest. In my experience Magpie parents 'sense' the correct time and encourage the baby Magpies out of the nest.

The next week or so will be interesting to see how things develop !

You seem to be well and truly on the way to being a 'Magpie Nutter' like most of us here on this Hub !

Please keep us up to date with your new Magpie family :)

Cheers for now :)

Bill 3 years ago

Hi, we have started taking care of a baby magpie (we had one as kids, best pet ever). This one is really young though. My concern is his/her feet. I'd guess he/she is about 4 weeks old but not standing yet. I'd have thought he would have been by now. My concerns is that we care for hi well or not at all and then to a refuge. I just know how good these guys can be as pets...

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

G'day Bill... well these little guys do become part of the family.

Over here the breeding season is in full swing and we have quite a number of baby Magpies crying out for food.

If your baby has it's feathers and just a bit of 'down' left I would guess that it's been kicked out of the nest. I have seen Magpies hop around on one leg and survive OK.

The big problem is if they cannot fly, then I would worry about it and maybe get it to a 'refuge' or Vet.

I hope all goes well with your new 'family' btw is Mum and Dad Magpie around anywhere ?

Susan P 3 years ago

We have a Mummy and Dad at our place. Last season there was one baby now there are 2 this year, Heckle and Jeckle. Mummy is so bold she actually came right inside, over to the kitchen, to get something to eat. We have to make sure the door is always closed now to keep her out.

As a child our family had an injured pet Maggie and it use to come in the car with us. Of course that was a long time ago.

Also our old cat never seemed to bother our wildlife birds much to our amazement. The birds just came down and didn't bother that the cat was there. I loved the photos of the cat and Maggies.

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

G'day there Susan P and thanks for sharing your great Magpie story :)

It looks like you have been well and truly absorbed into Heckle and Jeckles family. It is a little unusual for me that the Mum Magpie is the more aggressive in the family. I find it is usually the Dad Magpie.

What a great childhood you had to have a pet Magpie learning about them at such a young age. That's great I hope you can pass this on ?

It's also great to hear that your cat (just like Robbie annes cat in the photos) can cohabit peacefully with the birds.

If you have any photos you would like to share be all means let me know and I will put them in the article.

Susan P thanks again for sharing your Magpie Family story :)

Noela 3 years ago

Hi, I'm not very computer literate and not sure how I came across this but so glad I did. I live in suburbia but have a lovely park a block away from our house with a big gum tree in it. We have been feeding two Magpies ( Maggie and Marty) for two years now. They blessed us with one baby last year and surprised us this year with three little ones. They squark at our door and feed from our hands. They joy they give us is tremendous. So much more than having a pet bird in a cage.

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

G'day there Noela welcome to the Magpie Lovers Club. lol

You are so futunate to have been welcomed into the family of a Magpie. Isn't is so much nicer to meet the Magpies on their own terms and proves the point that if you treat them right they will treat you right.

Our Magpie families have also had their share of Baby Magpies and it is so much 'fun' to watch them having their little squabbles.

Just today I heard a big bird commotion outside and when I investigated I saw Mum and Dad Magpie chasing off a big Eagle.

I have seen the 'error of my ways' and will never have another pet bird in a cage!

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful Magpie story.

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lkmaider 3 years ago from South Australia

Hi there,

I’m hoping someone will be able to help me.

While feeding my horses I was pestered by a noisy, juvenile magpie. I talked to it while continuing my work. My next stop was to water my worm farms and the little feathered visitor followed me. Each time I spoke to it, it squawked at me with mouth wide open. I tossed it a worm then realised it could not pick it up. The end of its top beak has broken off. Eventually, it managed to pick the worm up by putting it’s head on the side. My next stop was to feed the chooks and yes, it followed me. I went indoors and got some dog food and no sooner had I walked outside it flew down to me and commenced to squawk. It endeavoured to eat from the palm of my out-stretched hand but found it difficult. I managed, quite easily, to place the food in its noisy, wide open mouth and it happily swallowed. Hubby and I are now thinking that it’s possibly a pet. It shows no fear of us. It’s flying well so we have not caged it. If it’s a pet it may return home. We do have several families of magpies including the little Murray magpie and all live happily in our trees. We do not feed them.

My question is:- Is there anything we can do to help this noisy little critter? We’ve been told to snip his lower beak, with dog nail clippers, to the same length as his upper broken beak but not knowing anything about birds I’d like more info before doing anything like that.

Hoping someone with knowledge is able to advise us,


Sue 3 years ago

Hi, we found a baby maggie a few weeks ago, she seems to have a deformity with her claws, she always holds one with the other, and cant really walk or hop very well, although she seems very healthy otherwise, she has become very friendly, and she can sit on a perch with a few attempts, she manages to seperate her claws..

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@Ikmaider , G'day and please accept my apologies for being late with a response to your question on the poor little Magpies beak ! It must be very difficult for him to cope?

First of all let me commend you for caring so much about our little feathered friends and sharing your lovely story with us all. Welcome to the Magpie Nutters Club :)

Magpies seem to have a built in sense that lets them judge we humans and very quickly adopt us as their 'carers'.

With this comes a huge responsibility to make sure we treat them with proper care and treatment.

I am not qualified or experienced enough to give you any advise on the broken beak but after doing some research I have found that it could be overcome by clipping the long beak.

However, apparently bird beaks are similar to pets nails and must not be shortened too much.

If over done the poor Magpie may experience some pain!

So, all of the suggestions found so far are to have the operation done by a qualified and experienced 'vet'.

Reading from your story it looks like you in a position to know a Vet and many Vets will perform 'pro-Bono' operations on wild animals.

Sorry I could not be of more help with your small Magpie but I will keep searching and will leave any information I find here in the comments section.


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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@Sue. G'day Sue and thanks for sharing your Magpie Story.

It is truly amazing how many people have had an enjoyable experience with our feathered Magpie friends!

During my discussions with Vets and other wild life 'experts' it seems the main worry with Magpies and other birds is their ability to fly, enabling them to escape their predators!

In fact I have seen many birds, seagulls in particular and Magpies with only one leg and they cope very well indeed.

Also it is not uncommon to see birds standing/resting on just one leg !

Your little Magpie may have damaged a claw when departing the nest and may grow out of the 'deformity' It will be interesting to see how she goes over the ensuing months.

Please feel free to drop in and keep us updated :)

graham 3 years ago

The adults are delightful with their song, but as babies, they drive me nuts with constant squawking. Grrrrr!!!

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lkmaider 3 years ago from South Australia

Hi agvulpes,

Thanks for replying. Little Pushy (we named it) has not called on us the last two days. Prior that, I fed it morning and night by dropping food into his noisy, wide open mouth. It may have found its way home, had it been a pet. I had made a large amount of food, using your recipe and tossed some outside today. I've kept some in-case Pushy returns. It didn't take long for some of the maggies to find the food then we heard the familiar sound of squawking and noted a large female feeding a juvinile which may be Pushy. We didn't want to interupt the feeding so we kept our distance. The adult was pushing the food right to the back of the little ones beak or throat. If it is Pushy and mum gets sick of feeding him/her it now knows it can come to us for a feed.

Thanks again for your help,


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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@graham, lol oh yeah the baby Magpies can drive you crazy but if you study them they are not much different than our human babies !

Just today a baby Magpie came down from it's nest and was squawking away and came right up to me looking for some food. Mum Magpie very quickly walked up to it and stuffed something into it's mouth. The Mother then slowly walked away with the baby magpie in tow.

It was very pleasing to feel that they trusted me enough to 'ignore' me. lol

Thanks for dropping by :)

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@Ikmaider It's pleasing to see that Little Pushy magpie is at least getting some tucker (and the right kind to build up it's defense system)

Just to confirm something about the beak business. I spoke to a professional person over the week end and was told that 'generally' if a Magpie was brought into their Vet Clinic in Little Pushys condition and because Magpies are not 'endangered' the outcome would be euthanasia. It is not recommended to interfere with their beaks :( Sad but that's the way it was told to me.

With that in mind if you are prepared to 'adopt' our little friend then you will have a friend for life :)

It is a big decision and not one to be made lightly :)

Good luck I wish you and Little Pushy Magpie well :)

Animallover 3 years ago

Hi Agvulpes,

I have been feeding lots of different birds, including a baby magpie and his mother. The baby is sitting on the railing lately chirping to himself in the lovely call they do and shutting his eyes. I've noticed he sits there all day. Do you think he is sick? I hope not! :(

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lkmaider 3 years ago from South Australia

Hi agvulpes,

Thanks for the enlightment. We think it is Pushy being fed by it's mum. It doesn't fly off when we go near however mum does and she's not happy with us being close so we have backed off. We'll watch from the distance. I'm sure if it's Pushy we'll be able to keep it alive because it can and did eat once I had placed the food in the back of it's mouth. I guess now, time will tell. I'll keep you informed should anything happen.

Thanks again, keep enjoying life.

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@Animallover. From the information you have given me I feel that the baby Magpie will more than likely be ok !

If it is eating Ok and making that nice little chirping sound I would say it may not have developed enough to fly!

Magpie parents seem to have a good judgement of when to 'boot' the babies out of the nest, this parent may be a first timer and acted a wee bit early. I have seen this happen a number of times and the baby Magpies just sit around and chirp away to themselves seemingly forever.

As long as the parent Magpie is taking an interest in the baby I would say it is in good hands (or should I say wings. lol )

My suggestion is to monitor the situation for another few days or so before taking any other action.

Good luck and thanks for sharing your story :)

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@lkmaider. Thanks for the update. What great news for Pushy Magpie it looks like it's Mum has not rejected it, which is a great sign.

Magpies, and many wild birds/animals will reject their offspring if they sense any problems for the future (survival of the fittest/species).

There always seems to comes a time when Magpie parents 'abandon' their 'babies' and expect them to fend for themselves.

This will be the critical time for Pushy and it will need all of the help you can give for it to survive.

I wish you all the best in this and hope that Pushy has a great life in the future.

Thankyou for your wishes and I hope that your life is also filled with happiness :)

Robbie Anne 3 years ago

Dear Peter,

Seasons Greetings to you and your family (+ the maggies).

Thanks so much again for the photos of my darling puss “Andre-Alice-Taeko” you posted on your fabulous hub showing him with his magpie pals.

My dear old boy passed away recently, and not only am I missing him every minute, but his magpie friends are really distressed and looking for him everywhere!

Anyhow, I entered some photos of “Andre-A-T” in a cat calendar competition held by Workman Publishing New York. Their Page A Day Cat Calendar is sold Worldwide. They have just informed me that he will be featured on one of the pages of their 2014 calendar, so I would very much like to send you one.

I sent in photos of him with various of his bird pals, and the one they chose has him with his friend “Beaky” the lorikeet.

If you could send me an address to which I can post it, I would so love you to have one of the calendars.

My new puss, Carmen,from an Animal Rescue Centre, is 4 years old and an absolute delight. However there is no way she will ever be an “outside puss”. She looks through the windows and glass doors at all my magpies and other wild birds I feed, and literally drools as she eyes them off.

Very best regards,

Robbie Smallhorn

Belcaesar 3 years ago

Hi Nutters,

Still no new house yet so we are still here feeding and enjoying our backyard of beauty. Mum and Dad Maggie bought over their new baby to show me ... Mum sat on the window near the table waiting for tucker like she was ordering take away. I heard baby before I saw him.. We had been giving mum and dad some food that they were dutifully taking to the nest after a bit of "one for them and two for me" action. That was about two weeks ago. Everymorning they sit in the front yard teasing my older dog Odie. One distracts him the other takes his dry food. He does not bother them ( he is more interested in other dogs morning walks) I would see mum, dad and babie roam the street looking for more tidbits and I would always hope that bub would lears his mums street smart ways. Unfortunately, Thursday and Friday I only saw mum and dad and did not hear the bub. This weekend mum and dad come around and mum sat at the takeaway window but no bub. I fear for him. I was sitting at the table near the window and heard the babe squawking again and spun around but it was one of my butchey families with thei5 squawking baby in tow. Mum butchey is funny, when she comes for a feed she acts like a baby and sqawks with fluttering wings for a feed. I have two butchey families and the youngest family are the funniest except the crows follow mum butchey into the tree when they see her beak full. But dad stashes his in the hanging basket and only takes small amounts up to the tree tops. Still no magge baby though, I am fearful and suspect that cats or cars have had a hand in this. Mum and dad are strong and eating well so I don't dare think that there will be a new brood next season. except I doubt I will still be in this house to see it.

I will drop by again later. It is so good to read all your stories. Agvulpes you have done a wonderful job and have great knowledge. We are all grateful for your assistance in helping us to help and enjoy them



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Mickyv 3 years ago

Hi agvulpes

We have adopted a teen magpie, my wifes sister found a chick on the street without mum or dad (in the city) so since we live among the trees we ended up looking after her.

Se kept her in a cage until she was rid of most of her baby feathers ( I hindsight we got the wrong advice). When we tried to release her she just stayed at home, we now seem to have another family member!

I have to say she is part of the family, she wakes us for breakfast, she comes down to the lawnn if im outside, she loves to play and lets me roll her around. She chases our dog to play and even waits for me to come home from work so she can fly down and land on my arm or just walk into the house when I open tbe front door.

trouble is I worry if wont be able to look after herself.

any advise how we can ween her off depending on us but still enjoy her (or his) company?

thanks for the great forum.

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@Belcaesar, G'day to you and I hope you had a great Christmas :)

Thanks for 'catching' us up on your Magpies.

Poor old Odie it looks like he might be now on a diet for a while :)

Btw would breed of dog is Odie ?

That's not good news about your young Maggie, it could be its eyesight?

I have noticed that young Magpies don't seem to have good eyesight, one of our babies had awful trouble banging into a colorbond metal fence as though it could not make it out.

this went on for close on a week until its eysight got better.

Maybe your young one did not see a car coming, it would be a shame, however Mum and Dad don't seem too worried ?

We have a family of Butcher Birds here as well and they are funny to watch aren't they.

Here they are not as friendly as the Magpies.

We have also had a small group of Scarlet Rosellas honor us with a visit, what a beautiful bird they are!

I hope that you have success with sorting out things and have a great year in 2014, I look forward to reading more of your Magpies antics lol

Belcaesar thank you for your kind words but without people like yourself, Robbie and all the other contributors this little article would have no life and I really get a great kick out of the stories that you all share here with us other Magpie lovers.

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

@Mickyv, G'day to you and let me first apologise for the delay in replying to you comment :) Micky welcome to this small group of Magpie lovers, it's great to read the stories that people share with us and I find yours also fascinating :)

I have no doubt that your Magpie has adopted you as the leader of it's Family.

In my opinion you have already done as much 'weening' as he/she will accept!

Let me see if I've got this right?

She is free to fly around the area and come and go as she likes?

So in all truth if she did not 'love' being where she is she would fly off somewhere else and adopt another territory?

Magpies are very territorial and once they are established 'thats it' that's their home.

I will qualify that by saying it will depend on the gender of the bird.

If it is a male (btw that's my guess) instincts will kick in and he will find a mate and bring her back and you will then have an extended Magpie family to enjoy.

If it is a female Magpie the reverse will apply, a male Magpie who finds her attractive will take her as a mate and remove her from your territory to his territory.

One day she will just not be there and you will have a big hole in your life :(

But don't worry she is doing what nature intended her to do :)

It would seem to me that you have done a great job of looking after our little friend.

Micky thanks again for sharing your Magpie story and speaking on behalf of all readers here please keep us up to date with your young Magpie :)

Cheers for now


Karen Northmead Sydney 3 years ago

I witnessed this morning an adult Magpie feeding a very hungry baby wattle bird, mind you the wattle bird was larger in size than the magpie. My neighbour was there with me too, said that this was very unusual. We witnessed the Magpie fly back and forth and feed the baby........I also hand feed, pat and have left water in a take-away container to a another baby magpie that comes to me, under my carport, when i call out. (Named him POE) Poe comes back and forth during the day wanting to be fed by AARKKK AARKKK

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

G'day there Karen :) Thanks for sharing your experiences with our friendly Magpies!

You are right it is very unusual for a couple of reasons that I can think of:

In my own experiences I have never seen 'cross' feeding in bird life.

And in our area I have never seen a wattle bird larger than a Magpie.

Did you get some photographs ? I would love to see them and maybe share them with our other interested readers.

Love the name Poe for your baby Maggie and the way he calls out to you :)

Congratulations :) In this hot summer it is very important for our Magpie friends to have a good water source. If you have a bath bath or large dish they will come and bathe maybe 2-3 times a day.

Your story will maybe reassure Micky in the comment above that we humans can live happily with our little friends while they are still living in the wild.

Karen thanks again for sharing and look forward to hearing from you again with more updates on your Magpie friends :)

Leanne 3 years ago

I'm in Melbourne and we had a lovely family of magpies that would visit. I believe it was a female (she had one eye missing) so was easily recognisable. There were some other young birds also. They were friendly and appeared everyday. A few weeks ago, I noticed another group had appeared with some males, they would chase the others away. Our friendly magpies haven't come for over two weeks now and these others are in our yard. Would they have scared the others away? It seems strange that this new group has appeared and the others have gone? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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agvulpes 3 years ago from Australia Author

G'day Leanne, it would appear from what you have said that the old rule: 'Survival of the Fittest ' has prevailed!

Your 'older' female with one eye and her young brood would be no match for a fit and healthy bunch of Males looking to set up in a new area.

Having said that , I don't think you should worry too much, I'm sure that she will find a new 'home' and you will soon become friends with this new group.

We all have to remember that these Magpies are wildlife and for their line to continue to prosper only the strong and healthy should continue to breed.

Leanne thanks so much for sharing your story I hope that you can continue to update us on any progress :)

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Shar-0n17 2 years ago from Perth

Wow it was a long way down to get to the end of all the comments. These are such beautiful and friendly birds.

While crossing the Nullabor we were hand feeding these and a couple of babies too.

The make great pets and companions too although you already know that. Great hub. I love bird hubs.

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

G'day Shar-on17 and thanks for dropping by :)

I agree with you that Magpies are beautiful and friendly birds !

I would also add that they are intelligent and misunderstood.

Some people don't bother to take the time to understand that we are invading their space and when a Magpie swoops it is only protecting it's family and territory... I don't have a problem with that at all :)

We would miss our family of wild magpies as we interact with them every day :)

Laura 2 years ago

this is a video of a magpie whos been around my neighbourhood for the past few months and has become best friend with my 12 month old son! its been the most beautiful relationship to watch! Enjoy

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@Laura I have watched your video with mouth wide open lol

It took me a while to get my head around the fact that the Magpie was allowing your young son to do the things he did. Then it dawned on me:

If the Magpie did not enjoy the interaction it would just fly away. Right ?

To enable more people to see your video (if it is OK with you) I will embed it into the body of the Hub rather than have it buried in the comments ?

Laura : Thanks so much for sharing your Magpie story :)

Belcaesar 2 years ago

Hey Nutters and Agvulpes

Well, Finally a new house and internet, which took a lifetime of convincing Telstra. hmmm don't get me started. We are still completing the old house to get it ready for tenants but I miss the old birds. My new house has the most wonderful sounds of whip birds and the bush but our house is just a little too high on the hill and a little too far from the bushy trees at the moment for the birds to be tempted.... however, I have the most wonderful pair of frogmouth owls that sit on my pool fence every day and sleep in the shade of the palm trees. How wonderful they look. Out the front I have the contrast of ducks nibbling at my grass.... but no maggies to keep me company yet. I watched the video of little one year old. Wow, what a wonderful experience .... How amazing is that. Anyway, I am just so excited to have connection back so I will talk to you later. I have just read all your amazing stories. You all make me miss my family even more.... Good Night Nutters... Belcaesar x

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

G'day Belcaesar nice to hear from you again, I had started to think we had lost you :) I agree with you about Telstra ( Australia's largest telephone company who once had a monopoly on communications and still owns the copper wire network) Your new house sounds great with a much wider variety of birds to share your life with :)

The Tawny Frogmouth certainly is an interesting bird and I'm sure that when you start putting out the food to attract some Magpies they will appear very quickly!

From what I have read I might ask the question if you have a dam close by? If you do , come spring you may start seeing some Herons and Ibis !

That video is amazing I don't think I have seen anything like it and do appreciate that Laura shared it with us Nutters here :)

Once again! Nice to see you back and look forward to more of your Magpie / bird tales :)

Cheers Agvulpes :)

Colleen Logie 2 years ago

Hi, I'm wondering if you can enlighten me? I've been feeding a family of magpies for over a year, when the babies were little things being fed by their mother and whinging constantly. I guess they have now reached puberty, and have done so coming in and out of the house if the door was left open. One even sat on the couch with me!

the father bird has been progressively violent with pushing one of them away when he came to my door to be fed. (I called him Bashful, cause he was very shy after having a fishing line wrapped around his leg, which I eventually removed) He would still sneak over when he thought nobody was looking, but I haven't seen him for a week. Now his sibling has disappeared as well.

Do the parent birds kick the kids out of the territory when it is time for a new batch? I'm confused and missing my babies, and fairly sure they haven't been killed on the road.

I miss their serenades lol

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@Colleen Logie first of all thanks for dropping by and letting us know about your Magpie experiences. They sure are great birds aren't they ?

From my experience with Magpies I would suggest that they are very similar to Human families in that 'generally' there is only one 'alpha' male !

Survival of the species means that the other males leave home (or are pushed out) , find a non-related female and start their own family.

The female Magpies on the other hand do seem to stick around their own parents ,waiting for a searching male Magpie to come and whisk them off to start the above mentioned family.

The females also help out ( a bit like human aunties do ) with the new batches of chick Magpies as they come along (maybe 2 breeding seasons a year)

As a lover of Magpies we have to learn to let go :) and nurture the family that is left behind.

Colleen as you have already discovered there is a lot of trust involved in this process and at time some 'broken hearts' but in the end I'm sure you will say "It's been well worth it " :)

Cheers : Agvulpes

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missmypinetree 2 years ago

Hello Agvulpes .. well the Magpies just won (and i'm a Tigers supporter remember haha) .. the commentator said 'never underestimate a wounded Magpie' .. ain't that the truth ! .. I still have my 3 magpies lol even little miss with her bumpy leg that healed just nicely ..i still recognise her though because of the slight bump .. sadly they've not added to their nest since my pine tree was cut down but they're hanging in there !! I'm sorry i've not posted sooner but i now have a little possum that comes just before dusk every night lol he/she is blind in one eye :( ..not quite an adult yet ..loving our Aussie babies lol ..oh and by the way I managed to make it to the G last nite to see a game ..go Tiges !

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missmypinetree 2 years ago

@Colleen not from what i've seen .. my magpies have done everything they can to save their babies's just they're not finding the right tree :( .. i looked out my kitchen window last year and saw so many seagulls circling that i knew the magpie babies had no chance :( .. words can't describe how i felt ..

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@missmypinetree Yep never underestimate a wounded Magpie . Yay Go Tigers :)

I'm sure glad to hear that the little Magpie with the bad leg has come good !

Up here the Magpies have been gathering 'stuff' for their nests already ! Looks like we are in for an early Spring so don't give up just yet :)

Just gotta love those cute Possums, BTW is it a Ring or Bushy tail ?

I have not been to a footy game for years I think the last one was when the Tigers beat the Blues in a Final LOL That's how long it has been lol

I don't like the way the guys are having the little bouts of 'brain fades' looks like a lack of discipline.

Just as an add on to your comment, on Sunday I was lucky enough to see a Magpie drive away an Eagle! He was protecting his Territory and some juvenile Magpies that were in the trees.

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Oldbeakie 2 years ago


I'm new to hub pages, I really loved your magpie article and I was wondering if you could help me.

I am another magpie (all animal) lover and we moved into a house where the previous owners had been feeding magpies for many years prior. We continued this ritual and would feed them once a day with raw mince and have been doing this for approx. 3 years. We've seen babies come and go, but unfortunately there is a road between the two properties that their territorial boundary is, and some babies have been hit by cars. It's terrible and effects me greatly. However the 3 main adult magpies have always missed the cars, we call them mum, dad and beakie ( beakie is the granddad, he has grey feathers around the tops of his legs and has a limp when walking and has a cracked beak. He still fights off other birds like the kookaburras, but it's funny the magpies allow the black and white butcher birds to eat with them.

My question is, just over a week ago, mum (magpie) was hit by a car and killed. Our whole family has been devastated by the accident, but dad (magpie) has not returned. I think of him everyday. We have laid mum magpie to rest in a special part of the garden where they would always play and eat. I believe mum magpie had a baby girl, beakie and baby girl have been visiting every day for their meal. Will dad magpie come back?

Thank you for listening, I really hope he returns. Xx

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@Oldbeakie first let me thank you so much for sharing your Magpie story. It would seem that the Magpie Nutters Club is growing :)

You are most fortunate to have had such wonderful experiences with your extended family of Magpies but sadly like most families, animal and human, it is only 'good luck' if we do not have some 'misfortunes'.

I don't think that I have ever seen a Magpie as old looking as your 'Beakie' he does seem to be a grand old man of the Magpie family ?

I'm also surprised that the Magpies 'tolerate' the Butcher Birds, who have a tendency to steal the unhatched eggs for their meals ! Sad, I know, but we must all eat to survive, Right?

Very saddened to hear of any bird being 'killed', especially losing the Matriarch of the family and I understand just how traumatic this must have been for you and your family.

Now in reply to your question...

Unfortunately I can't give you a definite answer on whether dad Magpie will return but I could offer a guess ?

Here are a couple of scenarios I would consider :

1) He to may have been hit be the same car, Magpies do fly close together and he may have been able to fly away and is laid up injured somewhere?

2) He may have realised that his female companion Magpie is no longer 'around' and is off looking for another 'mate'!

I hope that the second is the case if so he may just turn up one day with a new female Magpie by his side !

However whatever happens I'm sure that your kindness in looking after the Magpies, you have cemented your place in their memories. :)

OldBeakie thanks again for sharing and please let us know of any developments in your Magpie Story :


Agvulpes (Peter)

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missmypinetree 2 years ago

@ old beakie that is sad.. i live on a fairly busy road that even has a bus route i'm surprised that one of mine hasn't been hit *touch wood* .. and a couple of years ago i had four magpies that has since become three .. but i see quite a few magpie families around here so it's possible that the males do take off to start new families ?

@ Agvulpes .. the possum is a little brushy i have a photo of him/her i will try to upload it soon .. i will also try to get a pic of my magpie family ..they've been quite demanding lately lol it MUST be nesting time ! .. And i do hope the Tigers win tonight .. but who knows they're unpredictable ! .. it's not a game i'd like to be at lol it will be feral !

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Oldbeakie 2 years ago

Thank you very much Agvulpes (Peter) and missmvpinetree,

I am very grateful for your responses and caring nature. I will wait for him to come back, in the meantime I will care for my two feathery companions, and the rest of my bird family.

I will keep you up to date too.

Lol Oldbeakie (Diana) Bridgeman Downs in Brisbane QLD

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@missmypinetree thanks for that information :) I would love to share some magpie photos with our readers ! Robbie Anne has sent in some of her photos with her cat Taeko and the Magpies see above in the main body.

The Tigers are on the charge lol I fear a bit too late for this year though :)

@Oldbeakie thanks so much for keeping us up to date, more people like yourself and Missmypinetree are needed to safeguard our feathered friends:)

David Hosking 2 years ago

Loved your site.

Keep up the good work.

I have just started a magpie blog so early days

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

G'day David and thanks for dropping by :) I will have a look at your Blog and see how your Magpies are going !

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Oldbeakie 2 years ago

Hello, just wanted to give an looks like dad magpie has returned with another female mate, the sad side is that I haven't seen old beakie since dad's return. It's only the two of them, and they come every afternoon for dinner. Sending love and safety to old beakie. I have my wonderful memories and snap shots. Thank you for your support. Lol Di xx

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@Oldbeakie Hi Di thanks for the update. It looks like 'life' has moved on doesn't it :)

The survival of the species is a huge 'urge' in every animal and I'm sure Dad magpie is only doing his 'bit' to keep the Magpie breed going strong!

I'm sure it will not be long before the 'nest building' starts and the sound of baby Magpies will be heard before Christmas :)

Cheers and lots of happy times with your new family of Magpies :)

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Oldbeakie 2 years ago

Thank you Peter, you are right, magpies are so resilient. I think us humans need to learn a little from our wild life species, thus being the ability to let go of hardships and move on without guilt or blame, there's a lesson to learn in that.

Thank you so much for your support.

Lol Oldbeakie xx

PS looking forward to the babies!!

William 2 years ago

Hi, Could you tell me if Magpies can hear worms in the ground as they appear to listen to the ground with the head on the side and then dig and often pull a worm out. If they can hear worms what do they hear ?

Could you please email me your reply. My email address is Thankyou.

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@Oldbeakie I could not agree with you more there is nothing we can gain by dwelling in the past, learn the lesson and move on !

Looking forward to hearing about your 'babies'.

It seems early but we have spotted a couple of Magpie babies around here already !

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@William I must preface my comment by stating once again that "I am not an expert" !

By my observations I see the same thing as you with the Magpie cocking its head to one side then dig its beak into the ground and pulling out a worm.

This is what I think happens:

As far as I can ascertain Magpies have the senses of Sight, Hearing and Feel. My guess is that their senses are more 'heightened' than those of we humans?

So with a combination of these senses the magpie can feel the Worm moving through the ground with it's feet and by focusing its hearing can pinpoint the hole where the Worm is going to emerge from and with it's head cocked to one side can focus its 'eye' (like we do when aiming a camera )on the hole for it to plunge it's beak into the ground to grab the unsuspecting worm.

William thanks for the great question and I hope this gives you some sort of explanation?

Bluetrain 2 years ago

Hi there. I am in Camberwell in Melbourne. I have my own family of maggies (well I call them mine). They are up to their 4th generation. I feed them mince meat & other bits & pieces but their favourite is grated cheese. I hope I am doing the right thing when I give them the cheese. Even the Wattle birds like this particular delicacy. I love seeing the magpies wipe the grated cheese on the ground as if it were a worm or similar.

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

G'day @Bluetrain and thanks for sharing your love of Magpies with us here:)

From what I have read the problem with 'mince meat' is the preservatives that are added , not good for the birds apparently!

Grated cheese seems to be OK in moderation however most 'experts' try to educate us to only give our Magpie Family only treats and not let them become reliant on us for food.

I know some people that were feeding their Magpie friends twice daily every day and now they have gone on a round Australia trip for 8 months and the Magpies have to learn to source their own food and adjust their diet :(

If you are interested I have included a link to a recipe for a well balanced diet for Magpies and other birds:

Once again thanks for sharing with us and we would love to hear some of your anecdotes on your Magpie Friends

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missmypinetree 2 years ago

ooh grated cheese ..that's a bit cheaper than mince ! Hello Agvulpes are my (i call them mine too haha) fledglings supposed to survive this Melbourne mini storm ?! :( ..

yes there are babies i see and hear them them hopping about in the high high high canopy of a very unsuitable tree .. the previous two years they've barely made it out of the this year ? this awful wind :(

i only pray i can hear their beautiful 'mag mag mag' cries in the morning..or when this horrible wind settles.

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@missmypinetree... wow that wind sure was something wasn't it ?

We copped a bit up here but my son said it was very very bad in Melbourne.

I hope that not too much damage was done to your property and Magpie family ?

Our little guys, we have noted 4 so far, are progressing along nicely and Mum and Dad Magpies are naturally being very protective of them !

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missmypinetree 2 years ago

well i saw one baby yesterday ! maybe there's only one ? it's quite big ! it was sitting in a gum tree lol ..they were also being protective of it and feeding it etc.. when i got home from work it was still sitting in the same spot but today its moved back into the elm (well i think it's some kind of elm) so bumpy leg is finally a Mum again !! hooray ! after two years of no babies..hopefully they are now a family of 4 or 5 .

I've tried to take some pictures but they don't trust me with the camera lol .. and i did see the beautiful pictures posted of Taeko the Cat with it's magpie friends :)

I still have my stray black and white cat *eyeroll* .. my blind in one eye possum .. and a couple of days ago I was clearing my guttering .. i heard a noise in the tree above and sadly I'd disturbed a beautiful little Ringtail Possum with the tiniest baby on its back .. they must live in my roof ..It's a menagerie but i wouldn't have it any other way ? lol

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Oldbeakie 2 years ago

That's beautiful missmvpinetree. Thank you for sharing. I would love to put photos of my magpies on the site, but I don't know how to add a photo. Could anyone help me with that.

I'm sitting out the front feeding all my beautiful feathery friends and loving it, this is my special time and I am so grateful for their presence.

Enjoy your long weekend (labour day Monday).

Lol di xx

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@missmypinetree it is great to read about your menagerie of the various 'animals' and isn't it great to see how the different species, if treated right, can get on together so well!

Good old Bumpy leg she has come good with her family, these birds are so resiliant and will bounce back from just about anything that nature throws up at them :)

btw: If you have have any pictures relating to your Magpies and would like them included in the article for people to see by all means submit them to me via email attachments. with some explanationory text to go with the images!

Oh you are so lucky having a Ring Tail Possum and baby in residence, lets hope that they become part of you family !

Well we can't wait to hear what your Magpie friends have got up to and would love to see the images ?

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@Oldbeakie I agree that missmypinetree must be having a lovely time with her family of Magpies.

It's great to hear that you have your 'Special Time' with your feathered friends and I'm sure that they also regard it as special?

As I have said to missmypinetree you are welcome to submit some images through email, as an attachment and I would be happy to post some into the above article similar to how I have included our other Magpie loving friend 'RobbieAnne' with her Magpie friend and Taeko, who sadly has 'passed away':(

So until next time, have some great fun time with your Magpies.

Cheers for now

agvulpes (Peter)

Linda 2 years ago

Hi we have had a pair of magpies nesting in our front yard. Over the weekend they left the nest and have managed to stay alive 3-4days so far. I understand they are ground dwellers until their tail feathers grow enough to be able to fly. One baby is very strong and perched on a twig. Granted I haven't seen it leave it's perch yet! The other two hobble around and been huddling in garden beds. My question is are they supposed to be able to walk yet? They hoble around and use their wings to hop along the ground.

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

Hi @Linda, welcome and it's great to hear that you have a Magpie family to enrich your life :)

What you have described sounds pretty much what I have experienced myself.

Yes the Chicks hobble around on the ground as their 'fledgling' feathers have not grown sufficiently enough for them to be confident to fly.

It's a bit like a baby learning to walk.

We know they can but they have to 'feel' that they can themselves?

However the Magpie chicks are quick learners and it should only be a couple of days before they are taking short flights !

Please let's know how the little Magpies are handling their new life :)

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missmypinetree 2 years ago

lol @ good old bumpy leg .. and to think i came here because i was worried about her leg injury a couple of years ago .. yes she's resilient .. well there ARE two babies lol .. so i now have a family of five !! :) they're almost fully fledged ! and i've read that the adults only feed them for four weeks then mostly ignore them ? i can't imagine bumpy leg ignoring them though haha

and @ linda..asking if they're mostly ground dwellers ? i'm sure they would be if they could be but they can't be around here .. they're in a rented property over the road but they have dogs :( and of course there's the odd stray cat .. bumpy leg has raised her babies high in the tree tops and this year they've made it ..yayyy

and @ agvulpes soon ! i get my new phone delivered tuesday !

anyway enjoy your magpie families .. i will keep you posted !

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

Hi there @missmypinetree and sorry for being tardy with my reply.

Oliversmum and myself have been up in Merimbula doing some Whale watching and what an experience that is !!!

Great to hear the news about old Bumpy Leg you are sure collecting a lovely family of Magpies.

Just about all of our 'baby' magpies have developed into healthy juveniles, one had a bad accident with a car :(

On the bright side though, I witnessed a 'dog fight' between a Magpie and a very large hawk (Whistling Kite) and the magpie drove the Hawk away, not once but three times!!!

Hawks although beautiful birds are 'hunters' and will easily capture a baby Magpie as prey. I know that they have to eat but why don't they 'hunt' for field mice and such other vermin :)

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missmypinetree 2 years ago

no need to apologise i myself didn't log back in here til Monday just gone. I managed to get a picture of one of the babies on Monday and i logged in here to try and post it .. but Monday night one of the babies was hit by a car (i heard the commotion) .. i picked it up off the road and it 'came to' .. parents were swooping me and i was in many minds about what to do .. in hindsight i should've taken it to the AEC..i was very distressed and thinking it would be euthanased was managing to hop up the tree to as high as the fenceline .. but in tending to that baby i think the seagulls got their other baby and after speaking to a neighbour there were apparently three babies but she thinks dogs may have got the 3rd one a few weeks back.

i'm so upset at not hearing their beautiful cries anymore ..thank you for letting me vent i know i can't save the world but im still very down .. whale watching ..that sounds beautiful.. i think i've seen enough seagulls though .. take care all of you magpie lovers .. there's always next year :)

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missmypinetree 2 years ago

oh wow i just heard a baby !! :)

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@missmypinetree ahhh... the things that we do for our 'feathered friends' :) I'm surprised that the 'adult' magpies did not 'shoo' the Sea gulls away from the area... they are very territorial sometimes even to their own peril :)

I sure hope that the baby survives? Some times putting them to 'sleep' turns out to be the kindest way to treat them.

We have to consider "are we saving them for their benefit or for our own enjoyment" ?

It's my opinion that as far as medical treatment for Magpies go I am no expert and would much prefer to have them in the hands of a Professional in the field! (Just my opinion though)

Your last comment is heartening, you may still have a Magpie family. Lets hope !!!

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missmypinetree 2 years ago

i wanted to take it to the emergency centre .. i had phoned them .. if it was going to be okay a carer would have apparently taken it til it was better and if it wasn't going to be okay.. well .. you know the rest..i just felt sick .. i had all 3 adults watching me while i cradled it lol.. and as for the seagulls ?? im near the beach .. if they want to outnumber the maggies they will.. they took last years babies from a smaller tree.

and *sigh* i don't hold out much hope.. i just saw a baby's a hopelessly slow flyer and its following them back and forth across this busy road.. if i still had my pine tree there would be no going back and forth surely .. and i agree with you about taking it to a professional ..i really needed a cup of concrete the night that happened . i can only pray it doesn't happen again :)

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missmypinetree 2 years ago

and just to add..the one that was hit wanted to be back over the road in the double property with trees that it knew/knows.. it was in pretty good nick for a bird that was looking pretty much dead on the road with its parents about to get hit also (they were freaking out) ..and for some dumb reason i just didn't want to be the one that took their baby away .. as i said..they were watching me .. saving him/her for my enjoyment was so not on my agenda

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Oldbeakie 2 years ago

Missmvpinetree, I am very sorry to hear about what has happened. I feel your anguish and send you and your magpie families love and healing. Xx

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@missmypinetree. I agree with @Oldbeakie !!! and hope your Magpie family can settle into a routine life style! What a predicament :)

I'm glad you cleared that up for me, I'm really sorry if I offended you with my comment :)

It is so hard with Magpies, just when you think they are the smartest they up and do things that are 'instinctive' and put themselves in harms way.

I can relate to how you feel , I felt like a 'kidnapper' when I 'rescued' our little Magpie baby with the broken wing. :)

It took quite some time for me to come to terms with that incident :(

btw on the bright side I witnessed another 'dog fight' today between an Eagle and a Magpie and would you believe a Plover !

The Eagle was not impressed and left in a Hurry. lol

Missmypinetree I hope you hang in there I'm confident that in the long run it will all work out well for the Magpies and yourself . Cheers :)

@Oldbeakie thanks for dropping by do you have any updates on your Magpie family ?

Tassie Girl 2 years ago

Hi, I have just discovered your wonderful site and find it comforting to learn that I am not the only obsessed magpie lover around.

I have been feeding my mum and dad maggie now for 7 years and they have become very tame with daddy maggie eating out of my hand. In the mornings I go out and call them and they both fly down for their food. They even wait for my car of an afternoon and guaranteed, by the time I am inside, they are waiting for their food. If I am late rising out of bed on the weekend, they come and sit outside my window and call me until I go outside, have a chat with them and feed them.

Each year they have had babies and brought them down to meet me, I feel very special that they trust me enough to do this.

I have not seen my maggie family now for 4 weeks and I am getting quite worried about them. They have just disappeared, I call them but they don't come to me, and I can't even hear their beautiful call. I know it is breading season, could their absence be because they are looking after their new babies? I can't recall them ever staying away like this over the last 7 years. I live on a property and there are no busy roads around my property, so it is very unlikely that they have been hit by a car.

I hold out hope that they will surprise me one morning (hopefully soon) with their new little babies and all will go back to normal. I miss them so much, they brighten my day. Daddy maggie and I have built up a special bond and I am sure that when we are talking he understands what I am saying to him.

Hope to hear from you soon.

I always thought that once magpies have found a home, they don't leave?

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@Tassie Girl it looks like you are well and truly entrenched in the Magpie Nutters Club :)

I believe that Magpies do have a way of understanding / communicating with we humans, if we take the time to listen and observe their behavour !

Hmm... ok lets get down to the serious matter of 'where have my Magpies gone' ?

It seems to me that you have done everything right and on the surface it surprises me that the 'whole family' just up and disappears at the same time.

Just putting out some observations here: If they have had babies it is my experience that they would be around all the more looking for food for the baby Magpies?

It's almost 'unthinkable' but do you have neighbors that may not like Magpies and do something to facilitate their removal ?

I can't think of much else that would cause them to up and leave so I will leave it open to our other readers.

Maybe someone else has had similar experiences and will fill us all in on the outcome?

In the meantime I will do some research of my own and see what I can find out!

So chin up and maybe in the morning they will be there to wake you up with their beautiful Magpie Warble :)

Belcaesar 2 years ago

Hey Nutters and Agvulpes

GOTTA love Telstra. I think I could rely on a crow to steal food more than I could rely on Telstra to get communication right.

Still no Maggies.... Went back to the old house to do some work and the Maggies followed me everywhere. Unfortunately I did not have any tidbits to give them. A few days later I went back and remembered to take something. At the moment Pepa is being amused by a Water Dragon that sits on the bottom of our pool every time he sees her coming. He has a beautiful red throat and breast. If he cant see Pepa he comes up for a nibble on cheese... not sure why this is his favourite. Pepa does not hurt him but she is a formidable dog to something looking up. My other dog, Odie is forever chasing Asian Mynas off the balcony.... Odie was hospitalized for ticks and we nearly lost him. He is back but a whole lot slower at the moment and the mynas seem to know it. I cannot get rid of them and just wish they were Maggies,

I have taken down some Bamboo between us and the bush and hope that will bring them in more... For your question Agvulpes. We don't have a dam but there is a trickling creek behind us that only ever trickles as we are very very high up the hills. No doubt a trickle will be more when it rains. I can see the maggies in the trees and I can hear them call so I am forever hopeful... Could it be the Mynas that are keeping them away you think? Anyway, I have caught up on everyone stories and they are fantastic. I am jealous.... lol ... Keep up the good work x

Tassie Girl 2 years ago

Thank you Agvulpes so much for your reply. I have had the same neighbours all the time I have been living at my home. I believe most of the people who live nearby know that these are my maggies as I am sure they hear me calling them each morning and if they looked closely they would see them fly down to me.

I have been of the same opinion as you that if my maggies had more babies, they would indeed be visiting more often for more food. My heart sinks every morning and night when I call them and they don't come down, and to think that they may infact be hurt somewhere and I can't help them. I miss them terribly.

Hopefully you find out something in your research or maybe one of the other magpie lovers can help.

I will let you know the minute they return to me. It will be a glorious day when they do come back to me.

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@Belcaesar G'day there :) Telstra sure has that love/hate thing going don't they. lol

Unfortunately for us up here in the sticks we don't have many choices and they are the best of a not so good bunch ?

I'm surprised that you have not been able to attract any Magpies, just a thought have you tried putting out some raw mince beef to lure them over :) Don't want to drag in the vermin though!

Your Pepa and Odie sure sound like great characters and very friendly, except to the Mynas of course lol It could be the Mynas have taken 'possession' of your property but I would have thought that at worst they would co-exist or the Magpies would be a more powerful breed to drive out the Mynas ?

We are fortunate down here as we don't have the Tick problem however we went for a drive today to visit Lake Tyers were there are Ticks and had to check Oliver thoroughly when we got home!

We have got ourselves a great little Magpie Nutters club here and the stories from all around Australia about our great Magpies are fantastic :)

I sure hope you are adopted by a 'young' Magpie family in the very near future!

Cheers for now :)

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@Tassie Girl it is reassuring to know that your neighbors are not the kind of people to stop Magpies from coming around.

The other possibility is that, and I really hate saying this, they have found another place that they prefer? I have seen Magpie families here that alternate between different houses until they find a 'preferred' place and will stay at that place until they are 'enticed' somewhere else?

If this is what has happened, don't dispair and as the old saying goes "Don't get made get even" and fight fire with fire lol ( well not exactly fire)

Try putting out special treats like 'mince meat' (just little bits) and any other treats that you can remember the Magpies enjoying.

You could try mixing up the recipe mentioned above, Magpies really love it?

I still have not been able to find one case of a whole family of Magpies just 'disappearing'

I sure hope that your adopted Magpie family return to you soon !

Cheers for now :)

Tassie Girl 2 years ago

Hello again, well I thought I had some good news for you. I arrived home yesterday afternoon and saw a male maggie sitting on one of the fence posts down the end of the paddock. I raced inside so excited and onto my front deck and I called him and called him, but alas he never came to me. I went back inside and picked up my binoculars and saw him fly away. I followed him with the binoculars and saw him land in a tree, then 3 others arrived. I thought yes, it is my maggie family, plus a new baby. I called them for about 5 minutes, but they still did not come to me and eventually they flew away.

I do recall a few months ago now that my 3 maggies were defending their territory against 4 other maggies, by chasing them away. Now I think about it, and have seen these 4 maggies not 3, do you think it is possible that these 4 maggies were successful in taking over the territory of my maggie family, and pushing my family out. Maybe if this is the case then my family might come back and regain their territory.

Every morning and afternoon when I arrive home I put out their favourite food, mince meat, plus bread and wild birdseed mix. My butcher birds, miner birds and rosellas still come for the food every day, but I really wish my maggie family would return home to me.

I will continue to call them and hope that one day soon they will hear my call and come back home.

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@Tassie Girl , sorry for the delay in replying but I have just recovered your comment from the 'Spam filter' :(

It looks like you have indeed 'acquired' a new family of Magpies ?

It may take a while (maybe never) but if you keep persisting by putting out the 'traditional' Magpie treats you just may attract the new Magpie family down to your Garden!

Or on the other hand by doing the same thing your 'old' Maggie family may just one day appear from nowhere :)

So either way keep trying and never give up , :)

You have one advantage in that you have the Butcher Birds, Rosellas etc., to keep you company :)

We hope that you had a great Christmas and look forward to reading more about your Magpie friends in 2015 :)

Mel 2 years ago

I have been feeding a family of magpies for over 12 years with the mail being able to hand feed. He has a broken beak with the top half missing, but amazingly does quite well. I have a question regarding one of their babies who has been coming down for around 4 months. I have discovered he has twining or cotton wrapped around one of his feet and and would like to know would he survive on one leg if i cant catch him to remove it.

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@Mel g'day to you and welcome to the Magpie Lovers Club !

I commend you for looking after our feathered friends and these birds are very adaptable and seem to be able to cope with any 'handicap' thrown at them.

I have seen a few Magpies with damaged feet handling things ok but I have never seen one with only one leg!

My concern is that Magpies actually 'walk' like humans (one foot after the other) and do not hop! and may not manage on one foot making him easy prey for predators !

The twine / cotton may not 'biodegrade' and strangle the growth in his foot and I am of the opinion that this bird should be 'helped' but only in a humane way of course :)

Is the young Magpie showing any sign of distress like picking at his feet etc. ?

Maybe you can entice it into a 'friendly' trap to cut off the bonding material?

Lets know how things turn out :)

Claire 2 years ago

I've loved reading ur story. We seem to have a family of magpies to feed wherever we are.

We have just moved and have made friends with Montgomery his better half and baby...

We have also noticed a pied currawong flying around but Montgomery won't let him down for a feed... Which I'm happy about. It appears that I might be birdist??

I do remember a time while living at home with mum and dad that one of baby magpies got hit by a car and dad tried to see if it was ok but the dad magpie kept swooping him and wouldn't leave the baby alone. It was like he was in mourning.

Years and years would would have the same magpies have new baby's and there was usually only 1 surviving baby... I think once there were 2 babies.... They are beautiful creatures if u give them the time. I'm absolutly a magpie nut - but I barrak for the dees!

Jennifer 2 years ago

Can you tell me why Magpies lay flat out in the garden, "playing dead"? I have read conflicting reasons - laying on an ant's nest, so the ants can clean the feathers of lice and mites - and because it's a way of relaxing into a "trance-like" state. I'd be interested to hear some facts. Thanks.

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@Claire yes the magpies have a way of 'selecting' a family don't they ? I reckon that it may be ESP or something like that ?

Ah Montgomery what a great name for a Magpie, very General like the way they march around !

Oh yep the Magpie are very protective of their young as I have found out many times and they hate the Currawongs!

I believe it is because the Currawongs will steal the eggs of the other birds and given half the chance will even eat the babies ?

We are Magpie nutters as well and sit on our deck watching them fossicking away all day for food and teaching their young to do the same!

Well I wish you luck following the Dees I'm a big Tiger fan myself, very disappointed about the finish last year but as 'they' say " There's always next year" lol

Claire thanks so much for sharing your story. I'm sure all of the other Magpie Nutters would love to keep hearing updates ?

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agvulpes 2 years ago from Australia Author

@Jennifer what a great question and I wish that I could give you a definitive answer :)

I have seen Magpies do exactly what you describe but only when it is extremely hot !

Have you seen how a dog will dig and roll around in the dirt to find some cool spot, I think the Magpies do it for the same reason ! They also seem to 'pant' similar to a dog!

I have also heard about the 'ants nest' theory but to be honest I don't put much credence in the story.

Many times I have watched Magpies take multiple baths and then 'preen' themselves, it's my opinion that this is how they look after their personal hygiene :)

If you come up with any other possibilities drop by and let us know

Midge 24 months ago

I've been feeding my local pair of magpies for just over a month. Mr Magpie quickly learned to recognise me and the little plastic ziplock bag that his treats (a couple of small chunks of lean mince, once a day) came from and soon became confident enough to take food out of my hand. The Missus was a lot more wary and always stayed about 2-3 metres away. I also enjoyed seeing Mr Magpie teaching the how to find food late last year!

I'm getting a little worried as I haven't seen them in about 4 days. This doesn't sound like much but you could set your watch by them, landing in the backyard and carolling for treats at around 8am and/or 6pm. I still hear magpies carolling in the morning and sporadically throughout the day. Occasionally seen a lone female swoop straight through the backyard; if it's Mrs Magpie that seems a little unusual as she and hubby usually hang out together.

I've tried putting out little morsels of meat on a white tile in the backyard and the food always disappears after a few hours but I've no idea if it's my magpies or something more sinister, like some unwelcome pigeons! Any thoughts/ideas on why they might suddenly stop visiting after being offered delicious little meaty morsels every day?

Midge 24 months ago

Aaaand never mind, they actually showed up tonight! Perhaps they were just being fickle, although I don't know why they'd skip a treat that is basically guaranteed!

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agvulpes 24 months ago from Australia Author

@Midge first of all lets all thank you for sharing your Magpie tale and welcome to the growing family of Magpie Lovers :)

There are two thoughts that came into my mind about your Magpie family not turning up:

1) They got a better offer somewhere else, the mince might have tasted better :)

2) They may well be busy building a nest ? Who knows you may have a new member of your family before long?

Lets hope it is the later and I'm sure my readers and myself would love it if you would keep us up to date ? Please :)

belcaesar 23 months ago

Hi Agvulpes and Nutters

Still no Maggie family to love yet..... we have a lot of reptiles around this area as well as tiny tiny birds that look like they are from the finch family. The reptiles range from a python under the house, two tree snakes, four water dragons and a huge monitor lizard, its a little bigger than the average goanna as well... not sure what time of lizard it is but it is huge.... the myna birds go crazy whenever they see one of these. I wonder if this could be keeping them away......

I have started writing about magpies in the eyes of a child and a childrens book .... I would love to share it with you Agvulpes when I am done. Thanks again for everything..... Still hoping to lure my maggies


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agvulpes 23 months ago from Australia Author

@belcaesar wow you do have quite collection of 'animals' on your property !

I'm not too sure but I would think that the Magpies being 'grazers' would not appreciate being the 'prey' for snakes, lizards etc.. :)

The tiny birds may be finches ! If you are lucky they may also be Fairy Wrens and if you are very lucky you may get some Superb Fairy Wrens !

Do they fan out their tails?

Speaking for myself and I'm sure our other Magpie Nutters would love to read your children's books about Magpies so let's know how it is progressing?

Cheers for now :)

Kitty 23 months ago

we have a lovely family of magpies who visit everyday. One cheeky young fella will even 'knock' on the front door with his beak. We do not feed them everyday as there are a lot of young and do not want them the rely on the daily feedings, however my partner does 'talk' to them everyday. I have photos of him sitting on the driveway surrounded by up to 15 maggies. When he feeds them, they perch on the toe of his work boots and even sit on his knees and take there food!

Look forward to hearing the cheeky young one everyday knock on the door and have a crunch at any cat biscuits that may be left over!

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agvulpes 23 months ago from Australia Author

G'day @Kitty what a great story to share with other Magpie lovers and I'm sure that we would all love to see the photos of them sitting on your Partner's boots :)

It's great to hear that you are only giving them snacks as we do try to talk people out of the idea of feeding the Magpie too much! They become reliant on getting the feed and loose the 'knowledge' to forage for their own tucker. Plus we may not be giving them the correct nurishment that they need ?

Sorry I don't mean to preach :)

If you want to send me some images to share I can always post them onto this article?

Kitty...Thanks again for sharing your lovely story :)

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missmypinetree 23 months ago

I still have one baby .. so there's a little family of four. Ive refrained from posting on here for fear of 'jinxing' them lol.. last time i posted the 2nd baby was hit...

Um Agvulpes ? when do the baby cries stop ? lol .. that baby bird has me well trained lol..

There's an Alpha male in the family though he's quite nasty to the baby .. I've seen the baby magpie lie down in submission etc.. for the poster that was asking ..because of his/her Alpha male parent .. and Bumpy Leg is definitely the Mum

Happy Magpieing and guess what Agvulpes I will be at the G Thursday night GO TIGES :)

I don't see many eagles around here but the seagulls sure upset my Magpies.. and lose lol

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agvulpes 23 months ago from Australia Author

@missmypinetree I'm glad that you still have your family of four Magpies!

As far as when does the baby stop crying?

Hmm... my guess is when you stop feeding it and 'force' it to rummage for it's own food :)

That good old Bumpy Leg is doing really well and seems to be quite the Matriarch. She has a real dynasty going there doesn't she ?

There will always be an Alpha Magpie it is the only way to ensure the survival of the Species!

I hope you enjoyed the game the other night? I sure did on the TV!

I have yet to see a Magpie lose a fight with another bird , they even chase the much bigger Eagles and Pelicans away from their territory !

Cheers for Now :)


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missmypinetree 19 months ago

hello ! well my baby magpie was fine a few nights ago in all that rain .. but i'd been seeing less and less of it and have since read that juvenile magpies can be forced to leave the group or just leave anyway as early as 8 months old !! :( .. which is about the baby maggies age .. depending on how the adult of the corresponding sex feels about it (so mean) lol .. anyway they have my yard to themselves now (next door moved and took their cat lol) bumpy leg and co. have taken to basically standing at my front door again .. and they're back to nest building lol .. i just hope that they can get more of their babies to survive .. we lost two out of 3 last season :( dogs and cars .. anyway yes tigers for the flag this year ! and i did film some carlton supporters leaving early that night .. cheeky me ! lol

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agvulpes 19 months ago from Australia Author

@missmypinetree nice to read your update!

It is a bit like a 20 something son living at home, there will soon be a challenge to 'who is the alpha male' lol However I think the Magpies have a more 'civilised' way of sorting out their differences :)

Good to hear that old bumpy leg and family have 'resettled' now that next doors cat is gone!

We also see the Magpies gathering sticks and stuff for their nests might be an early spring this year?

Last season was not a good season for baby magpies here either, from memory there was a lot of Kurrawongs around and they just love to steal the eggs from nests and attack the very young babies :(

Oh we should feel sorry for the Blues shouldn't we ? Nah only joking lol Go..... Tigers :)

Belcaesar 19 months ago

Hi Agvulpes,

Well, still no Maggies but I am now a mum to three very very young Sun Conures. No feathers but a lot of cheek

They are gorgeous, I do love my birds but I so wish we had the Maggie for support. Things have changed a lot. Greg and I are both now working at the same place at a huge major produce store near us. Hence the Conure Chicks. I am the Manager of the aquarium section. I am now breeding fish for the store as well..... So I have an awesome job now as well as mum to some very vulnerable chicks.

Still waiting for my maggies...... wont give up

See you guys later

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agvulpes 19 months ago from Australia Author

G'day Belcaesar and nice to read your great story!

The Sun Conures are sure a beautiful bird. I'm not familiar with them , they look like they might be 'talkers' ?

Greg and yourself seem to have found the ideal careers and I sure do wish you well in the Aquarium ! Are you anywhere near SeaWorld by any chance?

I'm sure that you will make a great foster Mum to your chicks and I suppose by now the feathers are well on the way?

I have noticed our Magpies have started the nest building process so I guess that must sense that winter is drawing to a close and Spring is just around the corner!

MagpieMatty 18 months ago

Hi there agvulpes! I'm new to Australia from New Zealand, currently living in Brisbane. I had my first encounter with a family of friendly magpies less than a month ago. The dad would quite frequently wonder around the lawn, waiting for me to stir up bugs in the garden. After a couple of days, the mother would join and they would gladly take food from me, even recognizing when I would come outside. This morning as I walked outside, I heard a loud carol and felt mum magpie flutter past me, feeling the breeze from her wings. That's when I noticed dad magpie was hovering on my right side, briefly landed on my shoulder then touched down to the ground. I've had frequent dealings with this family. They have a young one that joins them on my lawn. They greet me and thank me for food every time they see me, even responding to my poor whistling attempt. They've become quite accustomed to me playing guitar outside and will often try to out sing me any chance they get. Being cautious not to overfeed, I've become rather attached to these birds and have fallen in love with another nearby magpie family that share my lawn with the original 3. Reading your blog was incredible, and I'm so very sorry to hear of the loss of the youngling.

Thanks for the good read :)

Have a good day

Nathan 18 months ago

Love the article and so glad to read about your experiences with these creatures. I am saddened to read that "the decision was made to humanely euthanise the baby magpie" as I feel this was not yours of the vets to make. It should have been taken back to its parents to do what magpie parents do in these cases. What was the reason the vet and you decided that what you thought/wanted to do was more important that what its parents wanted to do?

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agvulpes 18 months ago from Australia Author

G'day there MagpieMatty and a warm welcome to Australia :) I hope you are enjoying yourself up in Brisbane!

Sorry I have not replied earlier, however I sure enjoyed reading your Magpie experiences.

I am envious of you being able to play the guitar and I'm sure that the Magpies love the sound.

I believe that it is wise move to not overfeed as you don't want the Magpie to become reliant on you for their nourishment.

It looks like you have really got the 'nack' to being a good 'friend' of our feathered friends and I hope that you keep up the good work!

Thanks again for sharing your encounters and please keep us up to date on your newly acquired Magpie family ???

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agvulpes 18 months ago from Australia Author

@Nathan you raise a 'great' point and I would like to explain that "the decision to humanely euthanise the baby magpie" was not arrived at quickly!

The Vet and I had quite a discussion about the best cause of action and he even called the Wild Life authorities to get their suggestions !

It all happened too long ago for me to remember the exact details but I do still believe that we came to the right conclusion!

I am not a Vet myself and hold no Medical degrees so I had to rely on the Vets advise that the young bird had too many injuries to fend for itself.

The advise from the 'Professionals' was that the parents would not tend to the young Magpie (survival of the species ) and it would more than likely be ostracised from the family and be left to end it's life in a very unsatisfactory manner.

Nathan thanks again for dropping by and raising this 'ethical' question ?

Lisa Nicholls 17 months ago

Hi there! After much searching, this page is exactly what I've been looking for!

I too had the pleasure of befriending a magpie couple who have been coming to our house every day for about a year now.

We did the exact same thing that you did as far as feeding the birds minced meat and the male even became tame enough to hand feed.

Last year they introduced us to their baby and about six months ago they kicked him out of home.

Recently the female disappeared and returned about a week later. She would fly down to get her mince, break it up in to tiny little pieces and fly back and forth to a big nearby gum tree (obviously to feed her new chick(s).

She did this for about a week, then both the male and the female completely disappeared for about two weeks.

Now we have two magpies that visit our backyard, but they don't seem to be the same ones? They seem very scared and unsure, almost like they don't trust us.

Occasionally they have a baby with them, but it doesn't seem like a new baby as it doesn't rely on them for food, or make a sound.

Do you think that we are feeding the same birds, or do you think this is a different family of magpies?

I'm not sure what's going on!?

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agvulpes 17 months ago from Australia Author

@Lisa Nicholls, great to see another Magpie lover and welcome to what we loosely call the Magpie Nutters Club :)

From our own experience your Magpies are pretty much doing what Magpies do :)

I feel generally speaking that there is usually only one Alpha Male in any family although we have found that females or Aunties as we call them can hang around and help in feeding the mothers younger chicks.

That is until the 'Aunty' Magpies decide it is time to start raising their own chicks and then they go searching for a good healthy male who has been 'kicked-out' of their own family, due to the Alpha thing!

The consensus seems to be that they do not 'in-breed' as they have an inbuilt sense for the 'Survival of the Breed'

In answer to your last question! My feeling is that it is more than likely one of the offspring returning with a new family !

Magpies have a good memory for good deeds as well as bad and they may be just 'breaking' you in to their new family who have not got familiar enough for 100% trust!

Keep up the good work and I'm sure that before long they will be taking food out of your hand.

Lisa, Please keep us up to date with you Magpie Family :)

Lisa Nicholls 17 months ago

Thank you so much for your response and also for the warm welcome into your group! :)

You may be correct, I never actually considered that. That would definitely explain the reason that the younger of the three magpies seems much more confident than the other two!

The only thing that still baffles me is what happened to our original pair?

My partner and I were quite sure that we were actually feeding the alpha male and female as they were quite aggressive towards all other birds, including their own baby once they'd had enough of him.

The big male stood over everyone for food, even his own partner! And the pair of them attacked every crow, currawong or other magpie that came anywhere near our yard, but now we just don't see them anymore.

The male magpie was a great bird... so much personality! I used to love when he would sing his magpie song at my kitchen window while trying to peek through the curtains.

He was also quite fun to play with - I would throw food up into the air and he would jump up and catch it.

He even got to the point where once he'd had enough to eat, he'd sit in the grass in front of us and just hang out. I miss him! :(

How is your little magpie family going? :)

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agvulpes 17 months ago from Australia Author

Lisa, you are very welcome and I'm sure others as well as myself enjoy reading about how our beautiful Magpies enhance we humans lives!

It would be a sad old world indeed if we could not get out in the fresh air and communicate with another species placed on this planet to share it's natural beauties :)

I'm not sure if birds 'think'/ 'behave' in the same logic patterns as we humans and sometimes we just have to 'go with the flow' and enjoy their company while we can!

Recently our other native birds, especially the Wattle Honey Eaters have been building nests and breeding and are behaving very aggresively toward other birds that they normally tolerate! Forcing the other breeds, even the Magpies to seek safer ground.

Maybe something like this has occured in your area and the Magpies have temporarily relocated :)

Mum and Dad Magpie could also be sharing nest sitting duties until their eggs have hatched ?

Now that Spring has Sprung the nest building around here has really kicked in and I have noticed quite a few on my daily walks.

One interesting nest is the Swallows nest made out of all sorts of things held together with what looks like mud ?

Lisa thanks for the update and please let's know if your Magpie friend returns, it would be a shame to lose contact with him :)

Linda 16 months ago

We recently moved to tassie from Perth WA and in both states we have had the pleasure of a family of magpies taking residence in our yard. Our place in tassie covers three acres most of it wrapped around the house and we love watching the fun and games the magpies get up to. Thank you for your web site your comments on their behaviour tallies with what we have observed, with both parents helping the new young once they can land on the ground and the male especially is a fierce prptector of them. We occasionally feed them in winter when the weather is cold and windy and often wonder how they can survive the wet cold nights. Do they roost in specially dense trees on very windy nights?

Regards linda

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agvulpes 16 months ago from Australia Author

@Linda thank you so much for your lovely comment and also welcome to the Magpie Lovers Club :)

It is a great Magpie time over here in Gippsland as our resident Magpies have just had their babies and they are entertaining us most of the time!

Occasionally we do help them out, especially when the ground is dry, as it is a continuous job feeding the chicks but only until they can start foraging for themselves !

As far as where they roost in the wild winds ?, I would say you are correct as I have been told by a number of people that when you are deep in the heart of a large tree it is quite calm, it just 'sways' a lot !

I can't verify that though, my tree climbing days are way behind me. lol

Thanks again for your comment and look forward to more updates on your own Magpie family :)

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ashroc 16 months ago


My Dad feeds magpies with mince in his backyard and has been doing so for over a decade. He has recently observed a baby magpie being fed by 2 dad magpies and one mum magpie is this common?

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agvulpes 16 months ago from Australia Author

Hi there @ashroc and thanks for sharing your Magpie story :)

And a very interesting story at that !

In all my years of experience with Magpies I don't think that I can ever remember two Dad Magpies feeding the baby Maggies?

Might be a sign of the times lol

I have seen two female magpies feeding the young but no not two Males!

It might (and only guessing here)be that one of the males is an offspring of the ''alpha'' Magpie and has not yet left home!

Just a thought on the Mince that your Dad feeds the birds. If they are being feed every day with the mince he might like to add some things to help with the the Young magpies growth as they may be missing out on some Nutrition that Magpies need to grow strong bones and beaks! You can check out the recipes above or:

Thanks again for the visit and lets know how your young Magpie is getting on?

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CorneliaMladenova 14 months ago from Cork, Ireland

Thank you for this awesome hub, Peter! I love magpies but did not know so many facts about them especially that they mate for life. And sorry about that little one that had fallen from the nest.

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agvulpes 14 months ago from Australia Author

Cornelia I have percieved a structure in the Magpie world very similar to human 'families' with the Dad Magpie being the leader and the little Magpies following along behind while Mum and Dad Magpie gather the food to be shared out. We were watching them just today and Oliversmum fed them some treats and they shared it among the whole family! Great to watch :)

Mario 12 months ago

I have a biased affection for our Black and White feathered friends,being a pies supporter.

My first meeting with them was 5 years ago when 2 Magpies appeared in my back yard about 1 month before the 2010 grand final.

I had a spare meatball that I fed them and the rest was history.

Everyday they would return as I ventured my back yard.They would watch from the tall trees in a school behind my house.

The female got so used to being fed that oneday it walked into my lounge room to my surprise giving me that stare of "well are you going to feed me?"

After a few days of just walking in and trusting me,i was able to feed her straight out of my hand. Meanwhile with all this going on,i thought it was a good omen that Collingwood would get to the finals and grandfinal and win after 20 years.

Guess what??? They did :-)

A couple of weeks later a baby magpie appeared with the parents and the cycle continued until a few months later I observed the father pretty much pecking the young one during feeding to move on and get on with your own life.

They stayed around for a few months and disappeared and happily returned about 1-2 years later.

Last year i moved onto a 3 acre property and was happy to be told by the previous owner that they have 2 regular magpies staying almost 10 years now.

Last September /October the parents showed up with 1 newborn,to my surprise a couple days later #2 shows up!

Now I have 4 magpies to feed whilst my cat sneaks up to them hoping for an easy feed of them.

Luckily the maggies are smart enough to keep a safe distance from puss and I think puss is slooowly getting used to them being there....but he can never be trusted and I have to keep watch.

That's my story so far...........

Ron 12 months ago

For about 3 months a young maggie has been visiting us. Seems to be a loner and other maggies give it a hard time. Not sure if its male or female, but I call it Harry. Only have to call his name and comes running across the yard for his feed. Now hops straight up on to my knee and feeds from my hand. Can stroke his breast and his feet. Next step touch his back but so far not much luck. a real character - will stay with me for some time and then off. Sits on the kitchen window sill for hours and likes us talking to him through the window. great liittle mate.

Rob 10 months ago

I have a family of 5 Magpies - Grannie, an Alpha Male, a younger male, his Sister and an 18 month old Female who got all of her black adult plumage about 3 months ago.

The young female has been missing joining the others for breakfast for the past 3 days and I was wondering if they have forced her to move to another flock as she is now an adult and if she stayed and was to breed it would further weaken the gene pool?

Teresa 10 months ago

Hi, so glad I found this blog, I have to go to the top and re read it all again. I read what you wrote but didn't read all the comments yet. I have a problem. I too love magpies and have a family living right near me and we have been looking after each other for about ten or so years now. I live on a service road on a main road and there is a strip of grass separating the service and main road. BUT NOW they are going to widen the main road and that is the problem. The strip of grass has ten gum trees which is where the magpies live and they are all going to be cut down for the road extensions. I am very worried what will happen to these birds and I voiced my concerns but only to fall on deaf ears.

What will happen to these birds when their home is gone?

If the birds relocate, will they come back to see me?

Is there anyone I can go to that will help these birds keep their homes?

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agvulpes 10 months ago from Australia Author

Firstly I would like to apologize to all the 'commentors' on this Hub about the Australian Magpie for my delay in replying to comments that they have left! Now with some 'broadband width' I will get down to replying from the oldest comment on to the latest ! Thanks for your patience :)

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agvulpes 10 months ago from Australia Author


I hope that you accept my apology for the delay in replying to your marvelous Magpie story :)

(and I won't hold it against you for being a Pies supporter. I did actually want the Magpies to win that Grand Final. There's a first time for everything. lol)

It never fails to amaze me when reading stories similar to yours just how trusting the Magpies become of we 'humans'!

There is nothing quite like the feeling that you 'get' when you hold your hand out to a 'wild' animal and they trust you enough to come and take food from you! It does feel great...

I am sure you agree with me that we do carry a heavy responsibility on our shoulders when we take on the 'task' of feeding our feathered friends.

You are indeed lucky to have inherited a family of Magpies and I'm sure that they will give you years of the sort of enjoyment that many people would never experience.

Thanks again for sharing with us your Magpie tale.

I and I'm sure our many readers would love to hear the next installment of your Magpie adventure...

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agvulpes 10 months ago from Australia Author

@Ron firstly let me apologize for the tardiness in replying to your great Magpie post :)

Secondly... what a beautiful story :)

Well I guess Harry can be male or female ? However in my experience the female Magpie is much more 'timid' than the male bird, which makes me think that your Harry is a male Magpie?

I'm not sure of the accuracy of this observation in that the Male Magpie has 'pure white' back feathers but the female has a 'scalloped' look on the back ! Check out some of the pics up the top ?

Also in my experience the Magpie family (when you get one and I'm sure you will lol) only has one 'alpha' male and more than one female bird ?

It is a lovely feeling when the Magpies come and have a chat with you and treat you like a friend, they seem to be the only birds that have this trait :)

Ron thanks for sharing your Magpie anecdote with us and please if your Magpie does have a family feel free to drop in and keep us informed :)

Lorraine Butler 8 months ago

Hi, I live in West Brunswick Melbourne. We have been feeding a family of Maggies for about a year now. There is a huge gum tree in our neighbors backyard where this family had a nest last season. We watched the mum and dad build the nest and raise 2 babes. Now they come morning and night on to my husbands shed to be fed fresh mince. They sit in the trees calling and I walk outside and whistle and they come down. This morning suddenly there was 5 on the shed. Very quickly my 4 swooped this interloper and moved him on. They then all warbled in unison, obviously making my yard and shed roof as "their" territory.

When they had finished eating, the dad came right over to the edge of the shed and "eyeballed" me warbling clearly telling me "don't feed him". It was hilarious. I will be interested to see if he returns.

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agvulpes 5 months ago from Australia Author

@Rob, Hi there Rob, sorry I have not replied earlier to your post :(

I'm wondering if your situation has changed since you posted ?

In my experience I have found that the Male Magpie is the one that is 'banished' from the flock as, very similar to us humans, having two Alpha males in the household is not good for the harmony of the family !

Also the female birds are usually kept around to learn the skills of being a good Mum such as feeding the nieces and nephews as they arrive in later hatching's !

Of course I may not be right lets know what you think of my explanation and how your family is growing !

cheers Peter

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agvulpes 5 months ago from Australia Author

@ Teresa, Hi Teresa my sincerest apologies for taking so long to answer your very disturbing post !

It is a shame that so called 'progress' must interfere with our native life !

Unfortunately Magpies are not an endangered species so I believe that the Authorities would more than likely tell you that nothing could be done to protect the birds habitat ?

Magpies are renowned for being very territorial and it is my opinion that if the birds were not nesting at the time of the trees being felled they would soon find a new home close to where they were located.

Our own experiences in the past lead me to believe that your Magpie family will find a new tree to rebuild in and soon come back to renew their friendship with you ! They have long memories :)

I hope that you come back and read my reply and can let us know some good news about your Magpies ?

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agvulpes 5 months ago from Australia Author

@Lorraine Butler

Hi there Lorraine :) what a great Magpie story one I will remember for some time :)

It is very enjoyable to watch Magpies build their nests, hatch their chicks, gather food for the new born.

Then watch with great trepidation the antics of the Magpie chicks as they take their first flying lessons !

As a matter of interest this afternoon, on my way back from my afternoon walk, I discovered a new nest being build by a Mum and Dad Magpie so it looks like Spring has really Sprung :)

You have found out by your own experience just how territorial Magpies become ! It amuses me that they only seem to reject other Magpies, I have seem them actually share food we have put out with birds such as Wattle birds and Lorikeets.

I wonder if you have put out a bird bath for the Magpies ?

I hope you have the time to keep us up to date with your very own Magpie story :)



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