Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) in Hunter Valley

To: Anthony Overs <>, Birding-Aus Mail <>
Subject: Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) in Hunter Valley
From: Lawrie Conole <>
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 10:58:20 +1000
> I heard a theory about a recent sighting of Eurasian Magpie in the Hunter
> valley. Apparently Magpies are a reasonably common cage bird in parts of
> Europe. The suggestion was that the bird was smuggled into Australia by
> Kosovar refugees, and released (or escaped) from the place where the refugees
> were staying in the valley.
> Sounded like a good theory. Any comments?

How likely is it that a Kosovar being harrassed by UN and government officials
and various do-gooders could keep a Magpie quiet in a coat pocket, long enough
to get to Australia!!??  My experience of Eurasian Magpies recently in
Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan is that (1) they're VERY noisy birds, and (2) quite
large - particularly that very long tail.  I think the ship-borne option from
East Asia sounds more likely.  It should be possible to determine from the
photos whether it's an East Asian or Central European race of _Pica pica_.

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