Vicky being courted?
We've been worried about Maggie's widow Vicky, and whether she is going to find a new mate, so Saturday morning when she came to say hello, I had a long chat with her. The way this works is, you just talk, expressing all the things on your mind. She can't understand human words, of course, but if you talk long enough, she will follow your body language and get the drift.
So I talked: "We can't understand what is happening Vicky? Are you looking for a new mate? You have to show us, because we humans are really very stupid."
So then, I go outside at 4:30, and I hear Vicky's distinctive squark coming from her trees. Then magpies take to the air from there, and fly up high above my head. You'll recall that Vicky's gang has three members, herself and kids Mindy and Monty; but four birds had taken to the sky!
They circled high, very high, diving and cavorting, doing close and dangerous passes with each other, circling and intertwining, and then letting out a call that sounded similar to, but different from, the "Where are you?" call Vicky gives just before dark as she collects her gang for the night. What did it mean?
Well, dumb humans can't be expected to understand such a deep question as that, but luckily we can at least count, and four minus three is one, one extra bird was playing in the sky with the rest of the crew. Was this a courting male, or just a friend from another group? I'll have to have another long chat with Vicky...