Thursday, May 23, 2013

Submissive Maggie T. and Big Bird Meanies

Here's a pic of two magpies on our veranda, taken in a hurry just a few minutes ago:

I wanted to get it, because it shows something curious. The maggie below is Maggie Talonfail - ahem - the bird that has been visiting us for several months now, a few times a week, for a bit of mince or ham or a grub I dig out of a flowerpot. She has one lame foot (hence the name)—the toes are all sideways and floppy—and while she can stand on it some, she is obviously hampered to a degree by it, and so remains a bit smaller and scruffier than other adult magpies we see.

I had just fed her a bit of ham about fifteen minutes ago. She ate it up, flew off. I continued working, heard something, and saw the scene you see above. The bird on top here is a big, healthy, glossy, thick-beaked magpie. When that bird, or ones like it, come around when Maggie T. is here, she goes into a submissive posture, as you can see here, sitting stock still. The big bird is looking off here, but spent most of the time looking straight down at Maggie, while she whimpered in fright.

It bugs me. But birds be birds, I guess.


  1. The big bird might not be mean...It might be, ala dogs, just asserting its status as dominant bird and the handicapped bird, excuse me, foot challenged bird is letting the big one know that it is not a threat...Or the big bird might just be a dick. ;~) Either way, they are pretty cool looking birds...sort of "cop car like" in their coloring...

    1. Yeah - I'm sure you're right, Gene. Just me being protective of our Maggie.

      And they are very cool birds. Wo - just realized they're related to - in the same genus, even - butcherbirds.