Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) in Hunter Valley

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Subject: Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) in Hunter Valley
From: "Dion Hobcroft" <>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 19:05:38 +1000
An anonymous call to Birdline NSW reported a Eurasian Magpie at Liddell
Power Station. Enquiries today resulted in clearly identifiable photographs
of a single adult Eurasian Magpie being examined. The bird had been present
since December but had disappeared about two weeks ago. It was shy and wary
particularly of Australian Magpies which had been harassing it. It actively
scavenged around the gardens taking handouts from staff. The staff had never
seen a bird like this before and great photos were obtained by Jeff Yates
and identified by his father. The bird is currently absent but Jeff said he
would let us know if it reappeared and we can arrange a group viewing.
Permission is necessary to enter the plant with strict safety guidelines. I
will get the word out asap but it would be beneficial to
organise-co-ordinate any visits so as not to over extend our welcome.

This Eurasian Magpie is most likely a ship assisted bird probably from north
Asia. This species is abundant through much of the Palaearctic and Nearctic
with several races. The Chinese like magpies and do not disturb them. The
ship would have docked in Newcastle with the magpie moving along the Hunter
River or New England Highway ending up in ideal open habitat at Liddell Dam
where it has taken up successful existence until recently. Quite
accomplished world travelling and possibly a first southern hemisphere
record.. As a suspected ship assist this record is likely to be a
supplementary species only on the Oz list. As a loner it is unlikely to
become a feral pest but other unwanted corvids such as House Crows are
sometimes destroyed. Maybe this magpie new it had to move along-not over
extend its welcome.

Any developments and I will keep you posted.


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