Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Knock, knock." "Who's there?"

Magpies, of course.

Richard was feeding the magpie in the first two photos, and then he went off to do some work while I was sitting at the table in the family room talking on the phone. After a few minutes it was difficult to concentrate on the phone conversation because the magpie decided it needed more food. It began walking right up to the glass door and pecking on it, but as that didn't bring any more food, it then walked back across the deck, turned and ran at the door and pecked it again. I was worried about the damage it may do to its beak, not to mention the door.

Obviously all was forgiven and it came back for a social call later.

A few years ago we had a pair of magpies, whom we called them Scruffy and Buddy, who spent the entire summer out on the deck, mostly sitting on the backs of the outdoor chairs. They had very distinct personalities.

Scruffy, the female, would bathe continuosly in the bird bath, but you never saw the male have a bath at all. I sometimes wondered if Scruffy had lice.

First thing in the mornings, when I arrived in the kitchen, there would always be one or other of the magpies standing on the ledge outside the kitchen window, pecking on the glass. As soon as it saw me go to the fridge it would fly down off the ledge, and by the time I got to the family room door with some meat, the magpie was waiting for me. Sometimes we would simply open the door and stand back. Very often they would calmly walk into the house.

They were wonderful entertainment for the entire summer, warbling away out on the deck. The only drawback was that I was forever scrubbing the chairs. They had one baby whom we called Rossini (composer of 'The Thieving Magpie' opera). We must have known that he would be musical because he has become the most amazing mimic (which magpies are quite renowned for). The sounds of cars, fire engines, dogs, and other birds are part of his repertoire. He often visits when we are working in the garden and provides a little concert for our entertainment.


Anonymous said...

What - and none of them called Mary?? Wasn't that the name that Grandma called ALL her magpies?

Good Acres said...

I remember those magpies! Very entertaining post. Sadly, our trip to Australia was in March so we've been back for some time but I am only now posting photos of the flora and fauna that we saw on our trip. Loved Australia and the people were so welcoming! Thanks for visiting. Cheers. -- Good Acres

Kerri said...

Seeing these lovely photos of your friendly magpies brings back such sweet memories of my mum feeding the birds on her back deck. They would hop into the lounge room sometimes too...Kookaburras as well as magpies.
Kathy was especially taken with the birds when I took her over for a visit in '94. She loved feeding them.
I especially love the pic of your smiling 'statue'....and how nice of the maggie to pose. I can almost hear it warble :) (The magpie, not the statue, silly...yes, I can read your mind).

meggie said...

I love this post!! hope the melodious magpies sing for you.