My New White-backed Magpie Friends

by Shirley Oelman

I have magpies that visit every now and then and would like to talk about them. 

They first came calling regularly in late July 2009.

 warbling magpies

  17Oct 09, 10:01am  Warbling so beautiful      



At first I ignored them, then, as they seemed so insistent I went out outside to check out the noise.

There were 5 to start with and the numbers dwindled to 2 from November. I threw out onto the ground minced steak, multi grain bread and some varieties of fruit & veg, plus crushed up biscuits. There is always 2 lots of water for them. One of the magpies loved grapes. The other one would not touch them. If I ignored their call one would come up to my front door and call, then stand and wait looking at the door. When I stepped out it (the darker, taller one) ran away a short distance until I called it and dropped food and then it came within 4 foot of me and ate. The light grey one always kept back and never came too close.



Then one day I heard someone calling the magpies and when I looked up the street the light gray one was hopping along the pavement chasing after a guy who was dropping food in front of him. He had come to get “his” magpies back to his place.

They don’t come as much now but they do still come and I keep meat in the freezer for them.

I love their call and the intelligent way they look at me as if working me out.

shirley's magpies pottering

17th Oct 09,10:01am during warbling




shirley's magpie's on the fence

02Feb 2010 8:51am on letterbox & gate warbling


The Murray Magpies would sometimes try to chase them away, but when I went towards them they moved further away & left the magpies in peace to eat.

The feeding progressed to buying and throwing out wheat for the wild doves, sparrows, Murray Magpies and other birds that started to come calling.

I  give the wheat on irregular days so the birds would still find their own food in between and not rely on me. Leave fresh water for them regularly, especially on the hot near a shaded bush.


Thanks Shirley for your story and great pics!  


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