Re: Unusual magpie behaviour

Subject: Re: Unusual magpie behaviour
From: WM James Davis <>
Date: Fri, 6 Feb 1998 09:08:08 +1000 (EST)
  Thanks for sharing your observations.  Unless there was food
attached to the vine I would interpretive your magpie's activity as
playful behaviour.  I have several questions:  1) What was the sex and age
of the bird (in your message you refer to it as a male and female);  
2) Can you be more precise about how long the bird continued this
interesting activity?  Any other details?  BTW, magpies, especially
juveniles, are known to "play".

I plan to write an article on play behaviour in an upcoming
issue of the Interpretive Birding Bulletin, do you mind if I cite your
observation in the article?

Cheers, Jim 


On Wed, 4 Feb 1998  wrote:

> G'day All
> I stopped briefly in Avoca (central Victoria) yesterday on my way home
> from a meeting in Bendigo.  There is an ornamental garden in the median
> strip with a pergola thingy covered in creepers of some sort (grape
> vines?).  I watched with amusement as a magpie jumped 1/2 metre off the
> ground to catch the end of a creeper branch.  It then swung vertically by
> the beak and twirled around.  This was repeated several times over a few
> minutes.  He looked like a circus high wire artiste hanging by her teeth.
> I've seen Galahs, corellas playing on wires etc. but never before seen a
> magpie behaving like this.

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