Gatherings and phalanxes

To: 'Geoffrey Dabb' <>, 'Canberrabirds' <>
Subject: Gatherings and phalanxes
From: "" <>
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2022 07:37:55 +0000

Apropos Magpies,


We seem to have a larger number of them over the past month or so than ever before.  When we dig into a pile of woodchips we have, to spread them around the garden (in Emu Ridge, near the Belconnen town centre), it’s not unusual to be ‘invaded’ by 20 or more eager magpies, seeking we don’t know what (since there are few if any worms in the pile of woodchips).  Have others had similar?


We do also have up to 8 or 10 choughs pecking their way through our garden every couple of weeks or so, but haven’t been aware of any ‘confrontation’ between them and magpies.  The choughs seem to like to keep together as they move as a group from one garden to the next every few minutes.


Kevin Bray




From: Canberrabirds <> On Behalf Of Geoffrey Dabb
Sent: Wednesday, 6 July 2022 9:46 AM
To: Canberrabirds <>
Subject: [Canberrabirds] Gatherings and phalanxes


Yesterday afternoon Fairbairn Golf Course, flocks of 67 Red-rump Parrots, 25 Eastern Rosellas, 60 plus Crested Pigeons.  Also, something seen several times before, a tight group of 12 choughs, middle of fairway, being sheep-dogged by a variable number of surrounding, generally stationary magpies. The reason for the compact chough formation seems to be that a magpie (or 2) can drive back in a stray emergent chough but cannot deal with the defensive actions of the whole chough phalanx when it stands its ground. The result is that the choughs can advance foraging, despite the resentful magpies, so long as the flock maintains its cohesion.

Attachment: ATT00001.txt
Description: ATT00001.txt

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU