Returning to the magpie motif, here are the photos of the magpie chicks I promised.

A Tale of Two Aussie Magpie Chicks

two little magpies
one up
one down

get up
time to fly

the early bird gets the worm

can’t do it
my leg, my leg

I think I can

damn leg

These are my street magpie chicks. One of them seems to be having a difficult time of it. I rarely see it foraging with its parent(s). I suspect it has a problem with its leg but I am only guessing at that.

There are many reasons why that could be. Sometimes they get trapped in their nests. Some die there. I have seen dead magpie chicks dangling over the side of their nests. [Please cut dog hair into small pieces if you are going to leave it out for the birds. As for rubbish ….]

Poor nutrition can also play a role (as can rodent baiting). It is understandable that people want to feed their magpies to make friends with them. We know magpies are not vegetarians, so people often give them mince/raw meat, but it is not the best for our birds, especially the young ones. It is deficient in calcium and can result in weak bones (see here). I read recently that magpie numbers are declining and that only 15% of magpies successfully breed each year (see here). So let’s look after our magpies or better still, let them take care of themselves. That way we can help them have a bright future.

Kind Regards.

43 thoughts on “He Ain’t Steady, He’s My …

  1. I am friends with all the maggies in my immediate area, but I don’t feed them (just smile and have chats). I belong to the Fb group and the jury is out as to whether to feed or not, adding Wombaroo to meat seems popular, but mince can rot their beaks as it’s difficult to swallow in it’s entirety. I believe pet kibble is popular with them, but it’s probably all junk food for them, better they look after themselves and we accept the circle of life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for that info, Jenny. I’m not greatly familiar with the feeding issues because I don’t feed my maggies either. They are happy just to chat. πŸ™‚ Last summer they were very distressed as their insects dried up (literally). I’ve decided the best thing I could do for them during the next drought would be to water a small, shady patch of yard for them so that the insects stayed alive in that area.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to read that such plucky birds have so many challenges to contend with! I hope these chicks grow to healthy adults. Have you enrolled them into your behaviour modification program yet?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Tracy. The photo of the two magpies on the wire is like a painting! I haven’t seen β€˜our’ magpies for ages and hope they’re all right.
    I’ve noticed that magpie chicks seem to hang around their parents well past the baby stage and well into their teens, clamouring for food.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jane. The chicks hang around for up to 9 months I think, female chicks sometimes a bit longer. I hope your magpies are alright too. Maybe the current weather conditions are suiting them and they are off doing other things.
      The photo of the adult and chick on the power line was taken on quite a grey day so I under exposed the photo. Also a cloud behind gave it that nice white background. It was a fluke arty shot. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sid. Yes some of the photos were taken when the babies had not long fledged. I think I captured the first flights. However the first couple of photos of the post with the two chicks sitting in the tree were taken 13 days after that initial flight so I expect both chicks would be up on their feet by that stage. It’s a mystery. Could be just a late developer.


  4. Lovely photos Tracy. I’m learning so much about magpies from your interest in them. The whole human thing of putting out food for wildlife is interesting; I guess it springs from the best intentions, but so often has disastrous consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Su. I suppose it would be okay to feed them every now and then if you know what is healthy for them. I personally thought some cooked meat would be okay. I guess it is important to get the latest information from the experts (of which I am not one).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting post, Tracy, and great pictures! Despite the fact that I’m terrified of birds, I hate to see them hurt in any way. I hope your one-legged magpie survives. It’s surprising how well they manage. We used to have a red wing blackbird that visited our garden. He had a broken leg and a damaged wing. Not only did he return the following year, but brought a lady friend with him.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love your photos and narrative, Tracy! But poor little magpie, I hope it will get better. Thanks for letting us know what not to feed them. I don’t anyway because I’m already busy feeding the little songbirds here (titmouse and bluetits) and they don’t get along very well with each other. In fact magpies try to snatch eggs and young ones from these so you see the difficulty here were I to feed them too. But as you said, better let them take care for themselves. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw the little bird sitting on the footpath a week ago, Sarah. It jumped up when it saw me but fell over. It righted itself again and then hopped before flying off. I’m not optimistic for it. They usually spend a lot of time walking around and digging in the ground for insects but perhaps it can make the necessary adjustments.
      I’m sure you don’t overdo it with your little songbirds, Sarah. Enjoy them. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the little one. Wild animals can be very resilient. Here in the city you can see many pigeons that lack a foot, or that have a broken wing that didn’t heal right, and they still manage to survive somehow.

        Liked by 1 person

Comments are now closed.