Magpies vs choughs, and vice versa

To: Canberrabirds list <>
Subject: Magpies vs choughs, and vice versa
From: "David McDonald (Personal)" <>
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2023 04:22:55 +0000

Our local monthly newsletter, The Wamboin Whisper, each month has a valuable entry drafted by Jo Walker called ‘Nature Notes’.


This month she mentioned what I assume is the millions of years old antagonism between magpies and choughs.


I had always thought (not from research but from casual observation) that the aggression is rather one-sided, with choughs peacefully going about their business, and maggies attacking them, just for fun.


Jo reports a different observation:

White-winged Choughs deserted my place for a while, but a small flock of about ten birds has returned. There seems to be a bit of antagonism between them and the Magpies – a pair of Magpies were seeing the Choughs off their patch here this morning. The aggression isn't always in that direction though. A year or two ago, I heard a very distressed Magpie calling from outside. On investigation, I saw four Choughs pinning a male Magpie to the ground and pecking it viciously. When I got closer, the Choughs flew off and their victim flew up into a tree where its mate was waiting. It seemed to be all right, but it was a very savage attack.


- David



David McDonald

1004 Norton Road, Wamboin NSW 2620, Australia

Mobile: 0416 231 890 | Tel: (02) 6238 3706

E-mail: m("","david");">



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