Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 44 - Magpies

These rather magnificent birds are Australian Magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen).  They are found over the vast majority of Australia, although they do differ from region to region.  They are about 40 cm long and have a rather mean looking beak.  They are not really "magpies" at all in the sense of a being crow like the European and American Magpies.  Australian Magpies are more closely related to Butcher-birds.

These striking black and white birds can be found most mornings patrolling the edges of my garden beds.  In their breeding season they can get very (very) cranky and swoop people at times.  The most remarkable thing about the swooping is that the birds can remember who they dislike from season to season!

I really like having these birds in the garden because of their calls - its called "carolling" and it has to be one of the most distinctive sounds of Australia. You can here it here.






I love that red eye in the last picture.

Now its your turn to get involved with WBW.  So click the link below and off you go.   Please visit, comment and invite to your hearts content.

Cheers - SM

57 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

sharp-looking birds! intelligent, too! their warbling, screechy call is unique. :)

thanks for hosting, stewart!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Interesting ... the color is certainly the same as "our" magpies, but otherwise they don't look like them, so I was interested to read your explanation. Their call sounds much more interesting too, as ours are definitely crow like in that.

Thank you as always!

Nette Cecilia said...

Sharp eys on that bird ,Very nice photos ,Nette

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots of the magpie bird.

Gary said...

Cranky, but still great lookers!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Frank said...

What super characters and their warbling calls are far more interesting than our UK inhabitants.

Superb series of shots Stewart.

Carletta said...

You got some wonderful shots Stewart and I too like the red eye in the last one - looks really smart with the black and white of the feathers!
Thanks always for your gracious hosting duties!

Karen said...

Great shots of these birds! I had a backyard full of them in Victor. They would line up on the deck rail in the morning waiting to get table scraps!

Brian King said...

Love the black and white plumage! Very regal looking birds! That last shot is my favorite. Great eye and I like the two-tone beak!

karen said...

Beautiful looking birds.

Richard Pegler said...

They're a bit different to the Magpies at home Stewart!

Super images, but I think that the 2nd is my favourite.

Well done and keep up the good work!

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Sensational shots and I really love the coloring on this beauty.

Ken Schneider said...

Quite an interesting bird, and its call is unusual and mostly musical. Its "upside-down" color scheme (light on top and dark on back) is reminiscent of that of the Bobolink here in the US.

Andrea said...

We don't have any Magpies where we live, but when I was in Colorado they were everywhere. Those Magpies had a long, beautiful tail with the black and white coloring. They are ornery and sneaky like the crows and will come snatch food from you given a chance. They certainly don't have the wonderful flutey call that your Magpies do. How nice that such a pretty bird, both in looks and sound, are common and can be appreciated by you on a daily basis. Very interesting post, Stewart. Enjoyed it ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

i stora drag said...

Splendid photos of your magpie! It differs a bit from the swedish one!
Have a nice week! Greetings Pia

Mama Zen said...

What a handsome bird!

HansHB said...

Great serie!
Magpies are cute!

Kusum Sanu said...

Lovely pictures for all moods of AUS Magpie! Thanks for hosting WBW!

Karen said...

Wonderful shots of the magpie, they can be territorial especially when they have a nest nearby, but I love them.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

...they remember who they dislike?!!! Oh, oh...if ever I'm in Australia, I'll be very kind to them.

They differ somewhat from the American Magpies, but still same coloring.

DIMI said...

Very beautiful shots and captures Stewart!Our Magpies have diferent colours!Have a lovely day!!It's very cold in Melbounre!
Dimi..

eileeninmd said...

Your Magpies have better memories than I do. It is a handsome bird! Wonderful photos, Stewart. Thanks for hosting, have a great week!

DeniseinVA said...

Wonderful photos of these Magpies Stewart. I am happy to be able to add my link this week.

mick said...

Great photos of the "Magies" and so very Australian!

bettyl said...

Loving your birds! They are so photogenic!

CabinGirl said...

Such a unique bird. And to think that it's most closely related to shrikes. The red eye reminds me of our towhees...

Thanks for including link to their beautiful song. I can see why they're sometimes referred to as the "Australian Flute Bird."

Sandy Carlson said...

I love these birds. Thanks for these close-ups.

Nora at Island Rambles said...

I love the sound recording link...what a great bird and the sound is amazing!!

Pat Tillett said...

Nice photos Stewart! In the last photo, it was enough that he was giving you the old stink eye, but to give you the old red stink eye is too much!

pattisjarrett said...

Thanks for hosting, Stewart. It's always enjoyable to see the wide variety of birds here.

Chris Rohrer said...

Magpies are one of my favorite birds and your variety looks amazing! I've only seen one of these birds and I'd love to spot more:)

Fergiemoto said...

Cool photos. They look a little different from the magpies we have in our area.

prairiebirder said...

Wonderful photographs, Stewart!

dancingaspensfarm said...

Great shots and as always, very interesting! Thanks for hosting!!

Digi-Irma said...

Beautiful pictures of the magpie, Stewart.
Regards, Irma

Arija said...

The things I really miss when overseas, are the maggies at dawn and the smell of eucalyptus.

Kerri said...

Beautiful markings on this bird! LOVE their black and white :)

Stuart Price said...

I think they have more character than the northern hemisphere ones..........

Carole M. said...

love the magpies too Stewart; quite intelligent bird and their call beautiful I agree

Lavender Cottage said...

A unique looking bird with an interesting call. Thanks for hosting and the link to hear the carolling.
Judith, Canada

Sharon Wagner said...

I will have to hear the carolling for myself. Thanks for the link. And Magpies sure got the short end of the stick in the naming department.

Gail Dixon (La.Belle) said...

Awesome captures! Truly. The feather detail and markings are perfect. A very handsome and striking bird.

Terri said...

Cool shots- I really like that first one!

Small City Scenes said...

Beautiful shots. Our Magpies are a little different than yours and as others have said acting more like crows or Ravens. Noisy, bossy, messy birds but beautiful. I haven't gotten a good picture of one because they speed away when they see me. Actually there aren't ny on the west side of the mts here but plenty on the east side of the mountains. . MB

Gillian Olson said...

Beautiful birds, I too love those bright eyes.

Karen said...

Thanks Stewart for your comment on the lamp posts. I tend to think this is a crow, Ravens have long feathers around their throat area. Although these shots are at a distance it is a bit hard to see, but my first thought was Crow.

edenhills said...

A bird that holds a grudge! How fun!

Karen said...

It's hard to tell the difference, from a distance, but it doesn't really matter, they are in the same family, and most people wouldn't know anyway. Without sounding like a know it all, I did some more research, and found that Ravens also are more stocky, have a shinier coat, and a bigger, bulkier and hooked beak, and so now dear Stewart I really know how to tell the difference between crows and ravens, and will be studying them intently, to see exactly what we have here. See you next wildbird Wednesday.

Karen said...

I did find some crows in Australia called little crows which resemble ravens with the long feathers around the throat, so who knows, they seem to be different in different parts of the state and Australia. I wonder if there would be interbreeding between crows and ravens.

Liz said...

Great shots, Stewart!! I love Magpies!
Thanks for hosting :)

Gunilla Bäck said...

Beautiful birds. They look very allert.

Vineeta Yashswi said...

All shots are outstanding...

bailey-road.com said...

Wonderful shots of this beautiful bird! I love the musical, flutelike sound it makes.

Phil said...

Great shots Stewart. It sounds like your personal experience of the birds either liking or taking exception to someone?

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Oh My goodness their song truly is incredible. I would find such joy in hearing that, but certainly would always want to be in their good favor, during breeding season as well. beautiful birds~

Neil said...

Great series on the Magpie.

NatureFootstep said...

your magpie look a a bit like our crow. :) Thanks for the sound link. The sound was very nice.