Australian Magpies at the bird bath

Australian Magpies

We have quite a few resident Australian Magpies in our garden and on our five acre property. Every year we watch out for nest building time to see which tree they will use; sometimes they refurbish an old nest.

In the hot weather anything up to 6 or 7 of them gather under the shade of our back veranda, often crouching under the easy chairs we have there for extra coolness. The sun in the open on hot days can be as high as 50C or more, while under the veranda it can be 10 degrees cooler – which is still very hot!

Our bird baths are also very popular with all species. Most smaller birds tend to fly off when the magpies occupy the cooling water.

In the photos shown today, the bird on the left is a juvenile, possibly a female. The one on the right is a mature male.

Australian Magpies

Australian Magpies

An air conditioned Thornbill

Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Canberra

Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Canberra

We are in the midst of a heatwave this week. On Monday it reached 40C (104F), yesterday 45C (113F) and it looks like another 40+ day today.

Our poor garden birds – along with birds everywhere, suffer greatly during such extreme temperatures. I try to keep the supply of water in the bird baths up during these times, something they much appreciate if the constant stream of birds is anything to go by.

During the worst of the heat yesterday I was working in my office. I was being kept cool by the gentle flow of cool air from our evaporative air conditioner. This type of cooler needs an open window to create a flow of cool air into a room. The window alongside of me was ajar a few centimetres.

I was suddenly aware of a Yellow-rumped Thornbill cooling itself in the flow of air escaping from my office. He twittered in appreciation for about five minutes, wings held out to catch the refreshing air, before flying off to catch afternoon tea.

It was a lovely interruption to my afternoon of writing.

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