david taylor wrote:
> It was reported on the evening news here tonight that a magpie swooped
> nurse in the grounds of one of Brisbanes hospitals today and pierced
> eye. She had emergency surgery soon after. A great bird the maggie,
> but not
> to be messed with!
> On the subject of swooping I found two Masked Lapwings with three
> brand new
> chicks walking up the footpath this morning!!! They were rather
> agitated and
> swooped me. They made their way up the road through our estate, and
> later in
> the day I found them in a front garden not far away. Tonight they are
> calling just outside. The chicks are superb, with their fluffy bodies
> long legs. I certainly hope they survive - the next week or two they
> will be
> vulnerable to cats and kids!
> Great though to see wildlife in the suburbs!
> David Taylor
Your Masked Lapwing note reminds me of the time, back in the days when
we called them Spurwing Plovers, I heard a woman scolding her son for
getting home late from school in a country town.
"Why didn't you take the short cut through the golfcourse?"
"We couldn't, Mum, we got ploved."
They are brave birds. I once saw one standing over its nest as a flock
of merino wethers were moved through the paddock. As the first few sheep
approached, the bird boldly stood its ground, and if the sheep looked as
if it would walk over it, it flew up to beat the sheep about the head,
calling loudly. After the leaders had been made to turn aside to left or
right, the other sheep followed them, and the plover's nest remained
The Magpies are just as brave, but I am very sorry for the nurse whose
eye was pecked. They usually go for the back of your head. Deaths from
tetanus have very occasionally resulted from Magpie pecks.
Anthea Fleming in Melbourne
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