‘Mum,’ my daughter said firmly. ‘Don’t. Feed. The Birds.’
‘I’m not,’ I argue. ‘Not really. These are just a few crumbs.’
She shook her head in exasperation. ‘I don’t know how many times I have to tell you…’
‘But he asked very nicely…’
The bird in question (this time) was a magpie that I (rather creatively, I think) named Maggie. I also named the two older birds the same name as well as what I assume to be Maggie’s sibling.
‘Hello Maggie,’ I’d say as he’d land on the chair and watch me sip my tea. He’d (I have no idea if it really is a he) cock his head to one side and listen as I talked to him.
When his parents turn up I’d greet them the same way, ‘Hello Maggie.’
A young bird, Maggie still hasn’t got the striking black and white plumage of his parents, but his singing voice has developed beautifully. He’d sit on the edge of the chair, tip his throat back and warble. Sometimes the whole family would come down and perch on the rope fence that lined the seawall and all sing.
By the end of the week, Maggie had coaxed me out of a few of my breakfast crumbs and was brave enough to land on the table close to where I sat. ‘Hello Maggie.’
I’m aware that there are people out there who don’t like magpies – they’re usually the people who have been swooped repeatedly. I’m not one of them. I’ve never been swooped, but as some of my best friends are serial swoopees, I make no judgement about that.
The thing is, most of the swooping is done by fathers who are protecting the nests and there’s plenty of evidence, scientific evidence at that, to confirm the theory that magpies recognise and they remember. It’s why I’m sure that next time I’m in Hervey Bay visiting Sares Maggie will come down and sing to me again.
I’m late to the party but participating in Terri’s Sunday Stills. This week’s prompt was Feed The Birds.
Hi Jo great that you have joined #SundayStills! I’ve been fortunate not to have been swooped by a magpie and I do quite like them. I often wondered why cyclists wore helmets with stick like objects pointing out of them and then realised it was to ward off the birds. What a lovely place to have your coffee and make friends with Maggie. x
One of my besties is absolutely almost paralysed with fear by them. he’s a runner and every spring moves into the gym instead of out on the road.
Oh maybe I’ve jinxed myself but I haven’t had issues running although in saying that where I run around the City/River there aren’t many maggies! x
I love feeding birds and they seem to develop a habit of coming back to you if you do so. Maggie seems very relaxed, sitting near your coffee mug! Must have gotten used to you! 💕 Megha.
What a cute breakfast friend.
Isn’t he just. We had some good conversations lol
You’re not late to the party, you’re just on North American time. 😀
Your post reminded me of one of life’s biggest mysteries. Why do birds (and dogs for sure) often cock their heads when spoken to?! Inquiring minds want to know!
Awesome post — I have linked it to mine.
That is one of life’s mysteries… I watch Kali sometimes when I’m talking to her & it’s almost as if she’s trying to understand me but I think it’s more watching to see what I’ll do next.
This is a lovely post for #SundayStills Jo, and a nice balance for my post about my love/hate relationship with magpies. I do like their singing and they are cute (until they decide to swoop me) and I enjoy seeing photos like yours where they make friends with you. My father-in-law had a magpie that would come in and sit with him and he’d feed it each morning. I also had flashbacks to Absolutely Fabulous with Sarah telling you not to feed the birds 🙂
Sarah and I have always had that AbFab style relationship – but obviously without the extremes lol. She still lectures me about everything from sunscreen to eating breakfast.
I love that I was right on the money with that observation then 😂
Hi Jo, How can you refuse this Magpie, especially when he asks nicely. I agree, how swooping is usually done for protection. I, too, suspect Maggie will not forget you.🙂
Exactly – he asked so nicely…
You are definitely not late to the party, Jo! And a hearty welcome to you! Maggie is a cutie-pie (hehe) and I believe will remember you again. Birds are quite amazing. That is a beautiful view of the bay you have shown behind Maggie. Great images!
Oh very droll lol… and thanks!
That’s amazing that young Maggie comes so close to you. Of course, when food is involved… I have never been swooped by birds, but can imagine it would be frightening.
I love magpies. They are so sassy and bold! We don’t have them where I live, but I like to sit and watch the magpies too when I visit one of my sons who lives out West.
Hi Jo, Cute post. I enjoyed the magpies while I was there. My friend’s parents had several relatively tame ones in their yard when I visited. 🙂
I just love them. Thanks for dropping by.
Sure! My pleasure. 🙂
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