This morning I was on my way to take my mother-in-law shopping. As I passed the local golf course an Australian Magpie flew low and rapidly across the road in front of my car. Nothing unusual about that.
Hot on its tail, however, was a New Holland Honeyeater, aggressively chasing the much bigger magpie and snapping at its tail feathers.
It always amuses me how some of our smallest birds will actively and quite aggressively harass birds many times their size. Probably the most bizarre example I’ve seen is a Willie Wagtail coming in at about 20 cm (8 inches) attacking our largest bird of prey, the Wedge-tailed Eagle at about 110 cm (44 inches) and a wing span of 280 cm (112 inches).
These little birds know instinctively that the larger birds often prey upon their nests, taking eggs or baby birds. They seem to know no fear as they protect their little ones.