Surfing Magpie Lark
From time to time I read about strange, usual and downright funny behaviour exhibited by birds. A recent posting on the Birding-Aus forum related this rather bizarre behaviour:
I work at Monash University in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne and have recently seen some bizarre behaviour from a Magpie-lark near work. After you get off the Monash freeway at Forster Road there are traffic lights as you wait to turn into Forster Road.
For the last 6-9 months there has been a Magpie-lark spending a lot of time at this intersection and it will continuously fly between the two cars at the front of the line (while they are stopped) pecking and attacking reflections in the windows, roof and mirrors. It only ever seems to attack the front cars in the line.
More interestingly recently it appears to have learnt to car surf; as the cars start and go around the corner it will stay on the roof for a while and then (purposefully?) slide down the windscreen of the car as it gets faster round the corner. As the car gets up to around 20-30 km/hr it will then open up its wings and fly/get blown over the top of the car and back to where it can attack the next set of cars. This behaviour appears to be all about having fun rather than attacking any possible reflected intruder.
My thanks to John for permission to use his comments.
Some time ago I ran a series of twenty birding bloopers. These relate to birders mis-identifying their sightings. They are well worth a read.
Click on the photo to enlarge the image.
More bird photos can be seen in my photo gallery.