This is a little confusing. In the original report a black and white thing was attacking a grey thing with a small amount of black. WWs routinely harass raptors of any colour within their territory.
From: David Rosalky [
Sent: Tuesday, 3 September 2013 6:51 PM
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] "black and white" thing
As I recall discussion eons ago, some B&W birds (in particular, magpies) attack B&W dogs preferentially over other coloured dogs. The whole thing may be an age-challenged spouses’ tale (please note my political correctness), but I thought it was a good story and these little anecdotes feed the story, even if not scientifically proven. Has Chisholm’s observation been verified?
Many years ago Alec Chisholm devoted a chapter of a book of his to this "black and white” thing and that it is a notable feature of Australian birds. Sure WW are aggressive, as are many birds when defending a nest and some black and white ones are notably so to other black and white birds. But WW are aggressive to most raptors (which are mostly not pied). I mentioned this in The GBS Report under the Magpie-lark text. In that case I expect that probably when they have high hormone levels they interpret Magpies as a supernormal version of themselves and harass them for the same reason that other birds attach reflections of themselves.
From: David Rosalky [m("webone.com.au","davros");">]
Sent: Monday, 2 September 2013 6:51 PM
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] 3 x baillon's crake 4 x Quail BSK under attack by wagtail Jerra Wetlands
Kym Bradley wrote:
“Not long before a Wagtail was attempting to attack a Black Shouldered Kite”
Is this the “black and white” thing again?
PS Great photos as usual, Kym