Roosting aggregation of Magpie larks

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Roosting aggregation of Magpie larks
From: David Clark <>
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2021 17:16:41 +1000
I'm looking out my study window at the gathering of Magpie Larks that occurs around this time every day on our property on the Bellarine Peninsula.

There are usually two pairs of Magpie Larks on our property and last summer one pair fledged three young so we could see up to five quite regularly.  A few months ago, I noticed quite a few more arriving an hour or so before dusk.  This was accompanied by lots of calling, group flights and the occasional scrap between individuals.

As I'm writing this, at least ten Magpie Larks have flown to the bare lower branches of our large Cypress trees and are perched there.  Later on they will move higher up among the foliage and will be joined by others until there are at least 30 Magpie Larks roosting there overnight.  They seem to disperse at first light and we're left with two pairs.

Some of the neighbouring farms had large Cypress trees but many have been removed over the last 12 months and there aren't many other large trees with extensive canopies.

I have seen aggregations of Magpie Larks, most notably at Kakadu where I counted 50 perched together in a huge gum during the day, but I was not aware that Magpie Larks roosted communally.

Have our Cypress trees become the dormitory for the neighbourhood's Magpie Larks?



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