In my neighbourhood there is an interesting group of magpies flying around. It wasn’t until last year that I became fascinated by them, because there was one bird that looked pretty weird, with its feathers all ruffled up together with a mix of gray down feathers on its white belly. It looked like it had fought with other birds.
This year, there’s still a bird with crooked feathers (not sure if its the same bird) and I’ve also noticed a younger bird without the typical long tail. I’ve nicknamed them Ravi and Shorty. Ravi and Shorty live in a gang of around 7 magpies. They are quite interesting if you watch them closely. In the morning they yell at each other (which wakes me up!), from time to time they fight (I saw them fighting for the peanuts I had in my garden, one day they just grabbed the whole net with the peanuts in it and flew away with it) and when the sun goes down they like to enjoy the last sunrays on the roofs of nearby houses. Around midnight some birds tend to scream really loud, but this usually just takes a minute. I find it also fascinating to see their interaction with other birds. They are not the kindest species in the birdworld! Stealing, fights, murder all occur, but they’re also loyal, intelligent birds. They are monogamous birds, like swans, but when a new girl is around males might leave their partners in favor of the other female.
While observing them, I got the idea that their lives slightly looked like a sitcom on tv. The drama, the love, the fights -all that and more- only in nature! 🙂
Funny video of an experiment in which magpies were marked and put in front of a mirror, to see if they understood the concept of a mirror: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.0060202#s4
Another story about magpies: http://www.kaj18.com/news/they-re-loud-they-re-messy-they-re-magpies/