Magpie Display?

To: Nathan Ruser <>
Subject: Magpie Display?
From: Michael Tarburton <>
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2010 16:24:33 +1000
G'day Nathan & other bird observers

This looks like a real mixture of behaviour. Firstly the call. Could it have been the magpies threat call, which HANZAB describes as a croak (p 600)- (Ravens croak- though more the Australian than the Little Raven). This is often given with the wings outstretched, but is usually used towards con-specifics not humans. Maybe there was another magpie that it was directing the behaviour towards. Their alarm calls show quite a range, HANZAB describes some: as "trumpeting squawk", harsh "ka", and "broad-band alarm calls" (p 607).

Then there are their distress calls - also broad-band (meaning a wide range of frequencies (pitch) at the same time). Then there are appeasement calls which are similar to the distress calls but shorter and of lower pitch and usually associated with submissive postures . This last one could sound like raven calls and have the wing behaviour that you saw. What do you think.

Magpies have a wide variety of calls and associated behaviour, and they can mimic so maybe that was part of your observation. Do you know if the bird was young (more-likely then to be Appeasement calls) or older (more likely that it could be mimicking)

Hope this is of some help.


Michael Tarburton



To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message: unsubscribe (in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU