A brawl on the lawn

To: "Canberra Birds" <>
Subject: A brawl on the lawn
From: "martin butterfield" <>
Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2008 17:13:49 +1000
Most of the birds that graze, or otherwise feed from, our lawn are very peaceable.  However this afternoon 2 Australian Magpies commenced a knock-down and drag-out fight.  In style it was similar to the way an adult will ungently advise the young it is time they moved on.and got their own food. 

Minor collateral damage - to its dignity - was sustained by a Kookaburra digesting a skink with its back to the stoush until a flapping wing nearly hit it.  This attracted the attention of the resident Wood Ducks who rushed over hissing in the manner usually reserved for cyclists.   They did retreat however when nearly de-maned by 2 Pied Currawongs swooping the magpies.  That proved to be the final straw for the magpies who exited (indiferent directions).

While thinking of bird behaviour on our lawn, it has interested me that nearly all photographs of pairs of frogmouths show them snuggled close together facing in the same direction.  We have a pair that are often sitting in our biggest yellow box when I take the pooch outside in the evening.  However they are usually several metres apart and always facing in opposite directions.  Presumably this is a difference between roosting and hunting behaviour.  So far they have ignored the dog (and vice versa.)

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