family structure - magpies

To: Margaret Leggoe <>
Subject: family structure - magpies
From: Marg Peachey <>
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 11:46:26 +1000

Magpie family make-up varies, but at this time of the year the young ones are probably moving on.  Your second female may be a female chick from last year, or an earlier chick from this breeding season,  that was helping to raise this years young. 

Magpie family sizes vary in different areas, in Canberra it is usually 3-4 and further north the families can be larger, 5+.  I think it depends on the food availability in the area and how many magpies can be sustained by the territory.

There are most probably other people who can answer your question better than I.


On Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM, Margaret Leggoe <> wrote:

There is a family group of magpies that visit my place quite regularly.  I do confess to feeding them (not every day) when they sing me a particularly nice song.  But the make-up of the group has me puzzled.  There is one adult male, rather slender, two adult females and one juvenile.  Although the juvenile occasionally begs, the adults don’t feed it, and if i drop a morsel or two at its feet it does pick it up.  But the adults will pinch it if bubs is a bit slow.  Are magpies bigamous, or is one of the females an older sibling?

Margaret Leggoe.

Marg Peachey

0450 961 530

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