Currawong-Magpie Friendships

   Currawongs tend to collect in our region during the winter months. After their babies are old enough to feed themselves they wander off visiting other places. They seem to follow the seasonal natural fruits and flowers that grow on top of their favourite gum trees. But the young ones do remember you and do come down to introduce themselves the following season when they return.  Hari-Kari was one of young Maggie's friends and the first currawongs to join our bird family.  Hari-Kari would join Maggie and his sisters Cindy and Tammie for a meal.  He became very friendly and would run errands for me.  One of his currawong friends would lean against a branch and whistle every time I went out.  I wondered which human he had picked up this trick from during his wanderings!

      Molly, the Grand Matriarch magpie of the valley, would give out the night call at sunset each evening. The currawongs would echo the ‘bed time bell’ call throughout the valley till all the 'day' birds retired for the night. Once after all the birds had retired into the trees and all had quietened I wanted to check which tree Cindy and Tammy (magpies) had chosen for the night, so I  called out to them. They didn’t reply, but Hari-Kari came out of his tree, flew over and told me to go indoors in an anxious tone as if he wanted me to understand that it was late and dangerous for all good birds to be out that hour. He then quickly flew back into his roosting spot. So cute!

    The following year, Hari-Kari and his mate had two kids Karivon and Karitu.  Hari-Kari's mate was quite shy and would only come out to grab a bite or two for the chicks.  When the chicks were old enough to feed themselves the family left. We didn't see Hari-Kari again, but Karivon and Karitu return each year. They are quite bold, confident, remember us and the other birds. They can become quite cheeky towards the older birds.

     One of the juvenile currawongs last year looked like he/she had been adopted by Vicky magpie. The young currawong would follow Vicky everywhere and seek Vicky’s permission before eating. There were many other currawongs around, so even if this bird had lost its parents, why had it returned to Vicky?

You can see more slideshows about the Currawongs in the Birds I View gallery and watch them in action at the The Sticky Beak gallery of this website.


Share this