The Magpie is the dominant bird within the boundary of my sit spot. They’re coming more and more often when they see us. Several parents are bringing their young to feed and water here. There are 5 communication calls:

Songs — the signature sounds they use to defend territory and attract mates.

Companion calls — the sounds birds use to communicate with each other during feeding or travel

Juvenile begging — the “I’m hungry!” sounds that chicks and young birds make to get adults to feed them

Aggression — the sounds made by birds defending their territory against other intruding birds

Alarm — the sound made when expressing alarm about a threat.

Ive been reading “What the Robin knows” by Jon young and picked out the magpie to study as that’s the bird mostly available to me. After reading up on them Ive found out its actually the male that is taking care of the young and not the female and started to pick out the different calls. Songs and Juvenile begging have been quite easy. Today I picked out the companion call. The mother used an aggression sound on the young the other day however I still haven’t picked out an alarm call. They just seem to take off if something disturbs them.

Magpies live to 25 years old. I did a fishing course over 20 years ago in a local man made lake area and the primary fish we were targeting were Bream. The instructor told us that the Bream grow one centimeter for every year making a legal fish to catch and keep was 32 cm making it 32 years old. Older than I was when I did the course. I haven’t been able to eat a Bream since. Knowing how long an animal live for also changes the way you look at them.

I have also been watching where they fly to after leaving here and have a good idea where their nest is located. The field across the road is near a water way with waist high grass. I haven’t been able to wear shoes for close to a year. I did go into this area once after the local council slashed it using two crutches and it knocked the crap out of me . Very uneven ground. I’m mainly concerned about the tiger snakes in this area when I cant wear heavy shoes, very aggressive species.

What I’m finding now , is when the birds start their singing in the area. I’m now picking out OHHH that’s an alarm but don’t know the bird, or that’s a companion call. I’m picking them all out. My mind starts to become overwhelmed with the amount of communication that is going on around me. The songs are no longer background noise or lovely overtures but gossiping to one another.

Magpies Mama


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