Can anybody explain this magpie behaviour please?

To: Charmian Lawson <>
Subject: Can anybody explain this magpie behaviour please?
From: Michael Lenz <>
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 2019 06:23:06 +0000

when we were living in Ainslie we had a couple of times very ill Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (beak and feather disease). They looked and behaved very differently to a "normal" SCC. "Our" magpies always gave warning calls and harassed these cockatoos when they showed themselves in the open.

Perhaps something similar has/is happening in your backyard.

Michael Lenz

On Tue, 24 Dec 2019 at 20:24, Charmian Lawson <> wrote:
Good afternoon
We have a family of four magpies, three adults and a juvenile, who frequent the big tree in our back yard.
On Friday, the very hot and smoky day, they were shouting non-stop. There was a yellow crested cockatoo in the tree and it was in dire straits. I thought initially they were distressed by its distress and the calling reflected this.
However, they started strafing it, trying to drive it away. This seemed to go on for ages. The cockatoo was very ill, and only recovered sufficiently to fly away after I had misted it thoroughly with the hose four times.
Now the shouting has started again. There is a cockatoo in “their” tree and I think it is the one from Friday but cannot be sure.
Can anybody please explain the magpies’ behaviour? They are usually pretty placid (except for one of the younger birds from 2017 I think, which one frequently attacked to the degree that the poor thing literally ran away and hid every  time the aggressive magpie flew in. Very sad to see.) and I really would like to know what is going on.
Thank you
Charmian Lawson
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