To: COG <>
Subject: Magpies
From: Jude Hopwood <>
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2017 05:51:02 +0000
Dear Bill and Chatliners,

I include the following quote from Prof. Gisela Kaplan's article: 

Importantly, it was the bird (not hand-raised but a free-living adult female) that had begun to take the initiative...

In mid Winter, a female white-back magpie began to hang around when I was feeding or emptying my worm farm which is a black plastic tub larger than a bathtub.  Because at one stage I was recycling old potting mix and there was the occasional large curl grub therein, I started throwing them to her. This frightened her at first, so it would appear that she was not habituated with being fed by humans. After a couple of these encounters, I found she wouldn't run off, but hang around and started to inspect the food I'd thrown and gobble it down.

As the months grew towards Spring, and I was gardening more in a grub infested new garden bed, a male magpie, not whiteback, could be seen in the vicinity, and it appeared they were a pair. He was extremely cautious and would not approach, whereas the female had no such doubts, indeed, making baby begging calls to me if I ignored her.  She would come to where I was digging, either standing or kneeling, and walk all around my hands, diving in if she saw something edible before I did.

Our relationship was instigated by her, perhaps out of curiosity, perhaps suspecting a food source, but nevertheless, throughout nest building and baby feeding, even after an horrific raven attack, the horrid winds of Spring and a new nest with a new baby, she often comes and walks around the garden with me, sometimes carolling to me, sometimes just chatting away in Maggie speak. My days in the garden have a warm friendship feel to them that would be absent without my 'Little Maggie' and her Commando partner.



On Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 9:43 AM, Bill Hall <> wrote: from The Conversation for October 4 2017 - 84726995&utm_content=Latest from The Conversation for October 4 2017 - 84726995+CID_726493c27bf2dfbaf823f42154da14e2&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Magpies can form friendships with people heres how

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