Opportunistic Magpies

Australian Magpie gathering wool for nesting material

It never ceases to amaze me when I consider how enterprising and opportunistic birds can be, especially when it comes to nesting time. It’s that time again and our resident Australian Magpies having been busy fighting to establish their territories. Our 5 acre block on the edge of town is the intersection of three territories, so at this time of the year there are many disputes over boundaries.

One pair dominates the area around our house and sheds and they are the birds that come most frequently to our bird baths and close to the house. They will often come right up to the front or back doors and allow us to get quite close. They are also quite happy to search for food only a metre or two from where we might be working or sitting in the garden. This includes our back veranda area where we often cook a BBQ and eat a meal.This is despite never having fed them in any way.

A few days ago my wife had a fleece of coloured wool out in the sunshine to dry. She was preparing it for spinning but our resident female magpie found it. Soon she was taking big chunks to the nest tree. Incensed at this free-loading, my wife brought the fleece onto the veranda and draped it over the clothes horse. Undeterred, the magpie enterprisingly found it and continued her nest lining activities. The photographic proof is shown on this post.

For those interested in learning more about magpies go to this article: The fearsome flute players. There is a special offer for readers of Trevor’s Birding.

Australian Magpie gathering wool for nesting material

Australian Magpie gathering wool for nesting material


One Response to “Opportunistic Magpies”

  1. Louise says:

    What an interesting post, and what courageous and inventive magpies you have!

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