Sometimes it’s easy to overlook more common birds, but you can’t always overlook a magpie. They have ways of grabbing your attention.
Their most extreme way is dive bombing when they have chicks (it’s usually the males). They’re very protective and will swoop at anyone walking by. They’re even more aggressive to anyone in a hat or helmet – cyclists beware! Occasionally they’ll actually peck at the eyes, neck or face.
At the moment they are past the dive bombing stage, but are very noisy. Not noisy at the levels of the ravens, but still noisy. And they are visiting every day in groups of 5 – 10. They redeem themselves by being surprisingly tuneful.
Balconies are sometimes a likely place to find a snack. They might also visit you at a picnic table or BBQ.
They don’t always make very laid back neighbours either. They often squawk while they are chasing or being chased by other birds. Outside the house it’s usually the magpie-larks or ravens that they argue with, but last week they were ganging up on one of the young ospreys. He came to hunt at the marina but, each time he came to the bit at the end of our road, he was shooed away by a gang of rowdy magpies. I don’t mind them visiting, but I don’t want them chasing off the osprey.