Saturday, 4 July 2009

Juvenile Magpies and a Harassed Heron

Several times a day the Magpies visit the feeders. This morning I only saw two of the Juveniles. As always they are very wary and spend some time in a tree, first on the highest branch looking all round for danger then gradually moving lower until they feel safe coming down to ground level.

This one spent quite a while sat on top of the bird table before it ventured down to the paved area where I had scattered some seed and fat treats.


I wonder if the round patch behind the eye is where the ear is.

Juvenile Magpie

There are three parts to the video:
1) A juvenile sat in a tree flapping and calling to be fed. No luck there!
2) It tucks in to fat treats but has problems trying to pick up more than one at a time as the first piece is holding its beak open.
3) First one, then two juveniles at the ground feeder.

Fascinating the way some birds put their heads right on one side to pick up food.

Later in the day I spotted a Heron way up in the sky weaving around all over the place. It was being harassed by two crows who were chasing it. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get the Crows in shot. Eventually it flew far enough away for the Crows to be satisfied and return to their own patch.



  1. Great photos John,

    We too have juvenile magpies visiting the garden. They really make a lot of noise. I reckon the nest was nearby because they are always around. Looking forward to seeing them grow up. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Nice photos and very nice piece of video. Its great to be able to see the bird behavior that you describe. Juvenile birds are so interesting!

  3. Thanks Mick. It is definitely easier to show behaviour than it is to describe it.
    Like infants at school, juvenile birds show that sense of wonder at the world around them and investigate everything. They also seem to have a similarly short attention span! (I spent many years teaching infant and junior children)

  4. Fascinating video clip John. Impressed how the second bird waited his turn, unlike the Starlings. lol
    Can't say I've ever noticed the possible 'ear patch' before. I'll have to watch my lot when they visit more closely.
    Great pose that second one is giving you.

  5. Thanks Joe. I think the local Magpies tend to nest in a small wooded area not too far away. A few years ago a nest was found in my tall Leylandii so they could be there again but I haven't heard the adults as close as that.

  6. Hi Keith. The juvenile Magpies always seem to take turns without squabbling. As you say, unlike the Starlings.

    I tried looking at some of my earlier photos of adults to see if there was an 'ear patch' but they are too dark to be sure. I though I could detect it on one but that may have been wishful thinking!

  7. Not an ear patch but an avian I-Pod. Thanks for the post.

  8. We don't get Magpies here. He is quite a gorgeous bird! Love those blocks of color...

  9. Very clear and striking shots of the Juvenile magpies. The video was fascinating ~ I guess the young one is in the process of learning how to pick up more than one seed so that eventually there will be a beak full ~ interesting to watch, for sure. We were mentioning previously how the digital camera has opened up new worlds for nature lovers, and, much like the juvenile magpies, I think our sense of wonder has been reawakened. I think it's terrific to keep that sense of wonder no matter what age! Here's to the kid in all of us!

  10. I wondered where my Sony Walkman had gone, Adrian :)

  11. The colours are very striking, Kelly. There is no mistaking a Magpie, either by its colours or by its croaking cry.

  12. Hi Glo. Digital photography and blogging has given me a new lease of life. Keeps the remaining grey cell active. I love this second childhood. :)

  13. Great video and photos John. I haven't seen anywhere near as much Magpie activity this year as I did last although I think they were actually nesting in the garden last year. I have seen quite a few broken song bird eggs though and wonder if that is to do with Magpies.

    I agree with Glo and you about digital photograph, that and blogging opens up a whole new world, the only snag is everything else gets neglected, including the garden to some extent!

  14. Thanks Jan. It is the opposite here having rarely seen Magpies in the garden before.

    True about neglecting other things. Some plants need watering and I've forgotten where the Dyson is. :)

  15. Hi again ~ I became so wrapped up in my sense of wonder, I forgot to mention how effective your heron silhouettes were! Lovely shots. Usually I see herons standing at the edge of the shoreline very patiently waiting to snap up some unsuspecting sea creature ~ and they can wait patiently seemingly for hours!

  16. Hi again Glo. The only time I saw a Heron standing it was in the middle of my garden pond. I had one visit daily last year. It was a pity the flying one was so far away. I couldn't get really sharp photos of it.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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