Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 119 - Australian Magpie

I have posted images of this rather splendid bird before - but not images like this.

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'!

Now its your turn to join in by clicking the blue button below - you are only a few clicks away from linking up!

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!

48 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

really cute 'in your face' shots! :)

TexWisGirl said...

no word ver for me! :)

Janet Shaw said...

Great Photos! :)

Phil Slade said...

I think you were brave to use remote captures like that Stewart. It worked out really well with some unusual ground level pictures.

EG CameraGirl said...

Yes, these could very well be the models for "Angry Birds." How great that your daughter is learning to love birds while she is still young!

Adam Jones said...

That's a great looking bird and nice that you could set the camera up to get some really good close up shots.

Marie said...

Such funny guys! :-) The video will be awesome, I am sure!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Neat birds. Maybe one day a few will get caught in a squall and end up over here.

(My pups would hate to loose out on the table scraps...but they have plenty of healthy snacks)

:O)

Gunilla Bäck said...

Handsome birds, but they do look a bit angry. :-)

Chris Rohrer said...

That is one cool and alien looking Magpie! Crazy cool bird.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Great way to get close! They might have started disassembling your camera if you left it out there long enough.I think the perspective on the third bird make it look angry. In all the other shots I think it appears to be curious, as befitting this intelligent and adaptable family of birds.

Mama Zen said...

What cool shots!

Linda W. said...

What a creative way to get close up shots of your backyard birds!

Jo said...

I love the second to last photo: the bird is giving you the proverbial beady eye. Great shots and something so different. I'll link my post to your meme tomorrow (Wednesday) Greetings, Jo

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Innovative camera techniques! That is an awesome beak on that bird. I'm pretty sure 'your' magpies could beat 'mine' in a free-for-all.

Frank said...

Excellent birds-eye views of your opportunistic dining guest.

Christian Weiß said...

Great bird and an interesting method.

eileeninmd said...

Stewart, great post on the Magpie! The bird looks huge.. Your photos are wonderful.. Thanks for hosting, enjoy your week!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I can only imagine the ruckus!! Too cute. Pretty birds too.

mick said...

Great photos of the Maggies! From my own experience - the longer they are fed the more accustomed to you they will become!

Brian King said...

Nice job! I like how you set those up. Very handsome bird!

Terri said...

I like these shots- very ingenious camera manuevering!

Dave Lewis said...

Thanks Stewart!
I have to try the remote one of these days...I have one, but never thought of using for birds!

bailey-road.com said...

A nice close up look at these clever and attractive birds.

Arija said...

My sister fed magpies, currawongs and butcher birds in Sydney. It soon got around in the bird world that the soup kitchen was open and the numbers ballooned out until the neighbours complained with so many birds waiting for opening hours.
When we were first married, we had a Maggie who came into the kitchen and pecked at the fridge to say he was hungry. Hope P. enjoys these free flying pets.

Andrea Priebe said...

I love that your daughter is following in your footsteps and that you are making it fun for her so she can grow to love it as much as you do. I love the Magpie and they are anything but angry ... they are comedians to me. Tricky and smart like the crows only a little more interesting because of their coloring. These are great pictures, Stewart. I am impressed!

andrea @ From the Sol

Lee said...

I love maggies. A few hang around my cabin and warble away to me day long...as do my friendly little butcher birds and my majestic kookaburras. I love having them all around. I think they loving having me around, too...because every afternoon they get the meat trimmings from when I'm cutting up the meat for my two furry rascals.

They repay me in kind with their music. :)

Bethany Carson said...

Enjoyed the photographs! Would be neat to listen to their call if you get it on video!

Margaret Adamson said...

What a fabulous idea to shot at ground level and it is wonderful that your daughter is taking an interest in birds. These are great shots of an intelligent bird. Video with sound would be great so look forward to that.

Rivien said...

Beautiful Post, Stewart!
And great shot of the bird!
Hugs Rivien

holdingmoments said...

Great birds Stewart. Sound like their UK cousins, opportunists.

Irma said...

Beautiful series of photos of this Australian Magpie.
These birds are very smart.
Very well photographed, Stewart.
Best regards, Irma

Mary Cromer said...

Oh these are all quite splendid indeed. too cool. Very creative the way you worked out to take them.
BTW...please reread my post...not a crazy person at all ;)

bettyl-NZ said...

Those eyes are just wonderful to see! The magpies around our house don't get close enough for me to see that well.

Adam Tilt said...

Great technique Stewart and I think the results for speak for themselves!

A Quiet Corner said...

Since I've NEVER seen one anywhere, I am amazed at how big their bill is and their overall size, Stewart!...:)JP

CountryMouse said...

Love the shots of it looking straight at the camera. Maybe they did use them for angry birds models, they do look a bit that way and we all know they can be during nesting. I have heard they have a great memory and pass it down to their babies but maybe that is an old wives tale to explain why they remember to swoop everyone wearing a certain colour etc.

thewovenspoke said...

These magpies are interesting and yet quite different in their plumage arrangement than the ones I have seen in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

Sheila at WolfSongBlog.Com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheila at WolfSongBlog.Com said...


What great shots! A very interesting and i bet smart subject!!

Susan (ABON) said...

Handsome bird. Great idea for using the remote to capture the close-ups. He looks a bit curious and irritated at the same time. Look forward to the video!

Jen said...

Nice shots! I like how you got them. I hope the birds don't become too demanding from your daughter as well as their parents.

BumbleVee said...

love this guy.... so different from ours...

pattisjarrett said...

How creative to set up the camera so splendidly! It looks like the Magpie is hamming it up for the camera. It sounds like you have a new pet! LOL
I can see the word verification box below, but the numerals are mostly below the lower line of the box.

NC Sue said...

Is that their normal coloration? It makes me think of a crow or a raven perhaps that's been splashing around in a jar of paint!

Great shots!

Pete Shanley said...

I hope you capture the carolling one day!

Dave Wenning said...

Your photos of the Australian Magpie are amazing and beautiful. Even though not a Corvid, it obviously has all the charm and intelligence of that group. Maybe more.

Rambling Woods said...

It does have an angry very serious look on its face like our grackles. A bird you wouldn't mess with... Thank you for linking in Stewart.. I appreciate it... Michelle from Nature Notes