Brawling magpies

To: "Canberrabirds" <>
Subject: Brawling magpies
From: "John Layton" <>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 20:18:55 +1000
During the glorious sunny hours we've had the last coupla days the Holt Magpies have provided good entertainment with high speed pursuits and spectacular aerial dogfights. This morning, I watched as one combatant took respite from the fray and landed on a cross bar as another powered towards it from a big, bushy tree 40m away. The cross bar bird seemed to stare down its attacker which peeled off, executed a 180-degree turn and fled back to its bushy base. The bird on the bar launched after it and seemed to switch on the afterburners almost overtaking it. The pair landed on the same branch concurrently, faced off and sprang at one another, their feet appeared to interlock and, thus attached, fell cartwheeling as some raptors do when talons interlock during aerial display/combat. Disappointingly, they fell behind a house so I missed the sight of them reuniting with Mother Earth.
And thanks to those who responded with advice/suggestions about how to wrangle binoculars one-handed. Problem no longer insurmountable.
John Layton
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