Magpies hiding food

To: <>
Subject: Magpies hiding food
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 04:07:08 +1000
In a posting on 17 May '02 Wynton Maddeford wrote:

> I have seen Ravens hide and store excess prey, but this is the first time I
have seen a Magpie hide its food for later consumption.
Once, when working in silvicultural research in the Hoop Pine plantations of
the Mary Valley (south of Gympie, Queensland) I visited a chap cutting
thinnings.  He was having his lunch at a loading ramp and tossing scraps to
the birds: magpies and pied butcherbirds.

The magpies were larger and dominated the butcherbirds, but after a while
the magpies starting hiding the food.  They had eaten all they wanted for
the moment.  That was what the butcherbirds were waiting for:  they simply
watched a magpie hide some food then as soon as it had left, retrieved and
ate the item.

I guessed this was a regular performance.


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