By Leah Lemieux
by Veronica Mather
For several weeks I watched out of the kitchen window as a magpie, now known as Maggie rested in our backyard. From a distance I could see that he had an injured leg, but whenever I attempted to get a closer look he would fly away. read more »
By Belinda Elbourn read more »
By Belinda Elbourn
When Darren and I lived just west of Ceduna in South Australia we were very lucky to have shared our lives with 2 very special crows.
The first one to arrive on our door step was Camry, at first Camry was very shy little bird.
But after a day or two soon became a very demanding, cheeky loud little bird.
He spent the first couple of months in our enclosed back veranda.
As we had a huge enclosed fruit tree cadge (Darren and Camry are standing in it in the top photo) we thought it would be best for him to live out there, plenty of room to fly and hide.
Camry soon became very close to Darren, if was to go out to the cadge to feed him he would hide in the orange tree and would not come out.
Earlier I told you about one of the "phrases" magpies have taught us - the "J phrase", which your friendly magpie will use if (s)he wants you to follow him or her. Vicky Magpie used it to take us to her babies.
But what if your friend wants to point you in a certain direction, but does not want you to actually go there? That's what the "b phrase" is for. Your friend flies towards you, and then flies in a slow circle around and above you, like a letter "b":
One year old Pingu magpie loves her human friend Victoria.
Juvi magpies - Shelly (left) with sister Nelly at our back door.
Will a wild bird (never handled or hand fed) walk into a cage just because you ask her to?
Juvi magpie Shelly injured herself on the day of the terrible storms resulting in the inland tsunami in Toowoomba and the Lockyer valley. She didn't come down with her family for two days. Due to the heavy rains we couldn't go out into the neighbouring paddocks looking for her either. We thought she may have met a tragic end in the storms, but when the rains stopped briefly on the third day Ron went scouting and found her sitting still in a paddock. Relieved to find her alive, Ron and I would go out to the fields to feed her when we could. A few days later she started to walk but after 3 weeks she still could not fly. She could only climb up tree trunks by hopping along along fallen branches that were still leaning against them as in the picture below.
read more »
One of the things that has amazed me, and amazed me over and over again, is the intelligence of Australian Magpies. They know how to talk to us, but do we know how to understand what they are saying? I have learned a few "phrases" in magpie language since meeting our Maggie Magpie, and I want to tell you one today that I learned from Maggie's wife Vicky.
I call this the J-phrase. Vicky has used it at least twice with Gitie and me. She might have used it even more than that, but we perhaps didn't notice and Vicky would probably have thought how dense these humans can be at times.
Here it is: Your magpie friend flies towards you, then flies at a very slow speed in a half-circle around you, about three metres away; then she stops: read more »
Novelsit Resa Nelson continues her story about how the finches in her garden trained her.
The finches have been nesting on my balcony for years, and it's common to get two nests (at different times) in the same flower basket each spring. I'm always fascinated by the behavior of each family because they're so different.
It took the parents a while to train me when to go out and buy a basket (they let me know when they're ready to build a nest), as well as how I've communicated with a mother that I only want to water the plant and not harm the nest or eggs.
She was at first upset until I showed her exactly what I was doing, and then it was like watching a light bulb go off over her head and all I had to do from that point on was show the water bottle to her and she would fly off to let me water and stay calm instead of getting upset.