This bird is one of a pair that has raised three young in the oak tree in the garden behind our house. The young are now fledged and spend most of the day noisily demanding food from the hard pressed parents.
My daughter, P, has taken a bit of a liking to this family and feeds them any meaty scraps we may have. It took the birds about a day to work out they were on to a good thing!
These pictures were taken by putting a camera on a bean bag, pre-focusing the lens and then using a remote release. Having said that, I still only a couple of meters from the birds at the time each photograph was taken. Live view on the LCD and a 'quiet' shutter release setting also help things along.
These bird make a wonderful fluting call - my next project will be to video this.
For the taxonomically minded, this bird is known as Cracticus tibbicen (although this is a recent change of genus from Gymnorhina) which refers pipers or flute players.
There are times when I think the Magpie may have been the model for a number of 'angry birds'!
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Word Verification has been doing strange things in the past 24 hours - please comment if it is still on, I'm doing my best to get it turned off - and I may have succeeded, but it's hard to tell!