Friday, November 13, 2009

Australian Magpies

 We're almost to the end of spring here in Adelaide, and the magpies have been protecting their nests by swooping on passersby.  This is common enough and you have to be prepared by wearing a hat, or waving a stick at them.  They can actually injure people, they have been known to draw blood.  Some people call them aggressive but they're just doing what comes naturally, protecting their young.  The chicks remain in the nest for about a month and are still dependent for another two months, growing almost as big as their parents while being fed, but are lighter in colour.

Magpies carolling is a wonderful sound, this song can be heard at any time but mostly in the mornings.  Are they welcoming the day, I wonder?  They are most interested when you walk past them.  I often see them down at my local park where I walk by the river, and they strut about on the grass looking for insects, looking straight at you and following you with their eyes.  The Australian Magpie received its name from the early British settlers, although it is a different species from the British Magpie.  It just looks similar.

The photo is one of my Mixed Media wallhangings, the magpie being fabric-painted, and the nest made of various hairy and furry yarns.  I often use birds as inspiration for embroidery and other fabric art.

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