Monday, April 27, 2009

Earlier Experiences With Magpies.

I grew up on a small farm on the outskirts of Melbourne and so grew up with magpies always being around. And especially watching out for the males in Breeding Season, “swooping” on you. Mostly this was a bluff and they usually miss, although when they do hit they leave a bloody reminder of their ever-present danger. So much so, that many people wear helmets if they have to go regularly near a magpie nesting area. That or a big stick and continually turning to check your back. I can’t actually remember any of us Kids being actually attacked, but all of us had been swooped more than once then.
Despite being aggressive during mating/nesting the birds do have a beautiful song and can become quiet if fed, so they were never seen as a real problem or a problem to chase away.
In fact many times a baby magpie would be found having fallen out of its nest and abandoned by its parents, and Mum would take it in and feed it on porridge. Thus they became quite tame and followed us kids everywhere. That actually became the problem, as they were quite tame and following everywhere, they had a habit of getting stepped on or a cat or dog would get them. I can’t remember how many actually survived to adulthood, but mum always named each bird. However for some reason that escapes me now, they were all called George.
All this just explains my sense of comfort with magpies, and that no matter how hostile some may be a mutual living arrangement between us can be accommodated.
So, who around you that you are more naturally enemies than friends, whether human or animal, can you get along with, with a bit of cooperation and accommodation from you? And will you try? More to come later on magpies...

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