Strange magpie behaviour

Subject: Strange magpie behaviour
From: Joanne Chadwick <>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 08:35:50 +1000
Hi all,

Just thought I would share this with you.
A  friend of mine up here in Rockhampton (Central Queensland) observed 
strange behaviour of a magpie last weekend. It apparently was hopping 
around the perimeter of her house ( a high set Queenslander style) a 
couple of times, then proceeded to venture underneath her house where 
it `stole' a plastic coathanger. It tugged with this object trying to 
somehow secure it for transportation, but kept dropping it. 
Eventually it got it onto a fence where the coathanger lodged itself. 
The clever maggie removed it from the ridges within the fence, 
dropped it back onto the lawn, then arranged its wings around the 
coathanger - and literally flew with the coathanger around itself to 
its nest!

There was another incident recently on the Rockhampton news of a 
magpie gathering fence wire and adding this to its nest. It certainly 
looked weird, and I pity the poor babies if they happen to get cut on 
the wire.
I wonder why they would choose to collect such obsure man made objects when 
building their nests?

Has anyone else observed similar behaviour of nesting magpies?

Jo Chadwick 
Central Qld University
Rockhampton  4702 

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