bedlam (briefly) at Hawker ovals

To: <>
Subject: bedlam (briefly) at Hawker ovals
From: "Sue-Ellen and Ray" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2012 08:00:01 +1000
Just to add to the mix of experiences our 12 year old border has experienced lots of swoopings from magpies usually with total ignore and also lots of attacks/aggression from red wattle birds. So on goes the debate – are birds and dogs colour blind!!
Sent: Friday, July 20, 2012 5:02 PM
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] bedlam (briefly) at Hawker ovals

It is my observations of the ramblings of our late (and often lamented) black and white border collie “Flossy” that she was regularly swooped by similarly coloured birds, mainly Australian Magpies.  There was often great amusement as one or two maggies made do or die dive bomb attacks on her, and she would reciprocate vigorously, madly barking in hot pursuit. Any suspicions that I ever encouraged such activity, with either the magpies or the dog, is simply uncharitable.


The only other birds who swooped her were two nesting Willie Wagtails when she approached too closely to their nesting tree.


They hovered over the white spot on her neck, trying to peck her.  They were very brave, but Flossy did not seem to notice them, and just kept on sniffing around the base of their tree.






Paul Fennell

Editor Annual Bird Report

COG Databases Manager


026254 1804



From: Geoffrey Dabb [
Sent: Friday, 20 July 2012 4:29 PM
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] bedlam (briefly) at Hawker ovals


I recall suggestions that magpies are more aggressive to dogs of a particular colour.  Now if we all pooled information about our experiences along those lines, we might even have something publishable in an appropriate place.


My white dog has been swooped more than my black dog, but as I remember the totality of swoops was 3, and the white dog is the larger, possibly swaggers more (or used to in its swaggering days), and I think the same magpie was involved on each occasion, so it could have been a matter of personal bias.


From: Philip Veerman
Sent: Friday, 20 July 2012 4:10 PM
To: 'Barbara Allan';
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] bedlam (briefly) at Hawker ovals


Good question. Could it be relevant that the dogs were (I am guessing) close to people and the fox was not? Just an idea.........




-----Original Message-----
From: Barbara Allan [
Sent: Friday, 20 July 2012 11:15 AM
Subject: [canberrabirds] bedlam (briefly) at Hawker ovals

After the worst of the frost the corgi and I headed out on one of our regular beats around Hawker ovals. We enjoyed a few somewhat unusual sightings for the area, namely a pair of Scarlet Robins and a male Golden Whistler, saw a magpie putting the finishing touches to its nest, enjoyed watching the “regulars” and socialising with other dogs and dog-walkers. Then all hell broke loose. A fox swaggered its way up the path and was set upon by a posse of magpies, currawongs and miners. Encouraged by the bedlam, one of the dogs gave chase. The fox was last seen beating a decidedly rapid retreat up Delamere St. The thing that particularly interested me in this episode was the birds’ ability to differentiate between a fox and the domestic dogs, who were quite ignored by the angry mob. b

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