Baby Magpie learns to fly – sort of
Our resident family of Australian Magpies has been busy feeding two babies in the nest over recent weeks. The mother bird has been bringing tasty meals to the young ones who put up a great begging performance if she is too slow about it.
Meanwhile the male patrols the territory, seeing off any intruders – like the Brown Falcon who came visiting recently. (Details of that incident will follow tomorrow.)
Last week one of the babies decided to test out his wings. He left the nest – not at all gracefully and very hesitatingly. It was all downhill and into the wind until he came to the pear tree in the orchard, where he decided to cling to a branch for all he was worth.
I was watching this all happen from the verandah where we were having a well earned cuppa. I raced inside for the camera. Over the next five minutes I was able to carefully creep right up to about three metres away without disturbing the little fellow – still clinging desperately to the branch where he landed.
I quickly retreated, but not before mother bird came investigating to see if I was behaving myself. Soon she was happy to resume looking for the next tasty morsel to feed junior.
Later I was watching from the house. The baby had moved to another tree. He decided the fly down to where the mother bird was searching for food. The flight was okay – it was the landing that undid him. He landed on his face. Some techniques obviously need a little practice.