It’s that time of the year again; the good ol’ Aussie Magpie has been nesting and saying ‘Hello’ to their neighbours in their own special way… by swooping the ever-living crap out of anything that moves nearby (and sometimes even things that don’t move)! 😂
The Australian Magpie, is a medium-sized bird native to Australia & Southern New Guinea. It is a staple resident of the Australian landscape and their warbling song can often be heard, usually during early morning or evenings.
Although they somewhat resemble crows, the magpie is more closely related to the black butcherbird, and despite the name has no connection whatsoever to the European Magpie, which is in fact a corvid.
Magpies can grow up to 43cm (17″) with a wingspan of up to 85cm (33″) and can weigh up to 350g (12oz).
The males are characterised by their overall black plumage with white patches across the shoulder, nape, rump and upper tail, while females sport dull greyer patches instead of white.
They have sharp clawed feet and strong, sharp wedge-shaped beaks, which they can use to terrifyingly great effect when protecting their nesting area.
Magpies are monogamous and their nesting season begins in August & extends through to October, throughout which they will aggressively protect their nesting territory by swooping any trespasser happens to enter, sometimes quite viciously and repeatedly.
This is purely an instinctive response, evolved in the species over the ages, and this behaviour quickly subsides once the chicks leave the nest.
They are omnivorous and will eat anything from small animals (frogs, lizards, mice, etc.), to small insects, as well as nuts, fruit, berries, tubers, seeds, and any food remains left by humans.
Their lifespan is usually around 25 years, although some have been known to live as long as 30 years.
Magpies are listed as a Least Concern species, as they are not immediately endangered or threatened. However, the magpie’s nesting habits make it a ready and easy target for humans.
It is very important to know that these birds are generally protected under Australia law and it is illegal to kill or harm the birds or their chicks, or tamper with their eggs. Molesting the birds and their immediate habitat in any way can result in heavy fines and possible jail time.
If you do come across a particularly contentious bird, it’s best to contact your local council or wildlife organization, and not take matters into your own hands.
MagpieAlert.com has also been set up specifically to monitor and advise the public of any potential hot-spots around your area.