Magpie season (and some other garden birds)

Yes, it’s definitely spring. Adult birds are busy preparing to make baby birds. This involves a lot of calling and a good amount of flying about carrying nesting material. But mostly, it involves chasing.

Yesterday evening, my local Pied Currawongs caught my attention. They were out in my Camphor Laurel tree, calling their little hearts out. I used my phone to record their calls.

However, they weren’t the only birds active in the area. It seems that Currawongs chase Little Ravens. A lot. Perhaps the locals have had problems with Ravens raiding their nests, or perhaps Pied Currawongs just find Ravens a threat. Either way, whenever a Little Raven came past, the Currawongs would make sure it kept going.

That wasn’t the only chase. Noisy Miners will chase just about anything. They’re like a dog chasing a car, in that if there’s only one, they chase aggressively but they don’t really seem to know what to do when they get close enough to make contact. Noisy Miners’ strategy seems to be that five of them will perch very close to whatever bird they’re trying to see off. Intimidation through numbers.

Red Wattlebirds will chase other birds away as well. In fact, I’ve been swooped by a Red Wattlebird. I was riding a bike and heard the bird rattling its beak behind me. I looked over my shoulder at the last moment and the bird tried to pull up to avoid a collision. It failed, and I ended up with a face full of belly feathers.

Finally, as everyone knows, there’s the Australian Magpie. These beserkers will chase anything. I’ve heard that the only things the toughest Australian humans are afraid of are Magpies in swooping season. I reckon a pair of Magpies would have cleared out Suvla Bay faster than the Turks did. Magpies are the bosses of all the birds in our back yard, easily accounting for the Ravens and the Currawongs. Only Noisy Miners will stand their ground, but only as long as there is a half dozen of them.