White-backed magpies in Canberra?

To: "Canberra Birds " <>
Subject: White-backed magpies in Canberra?
From: "" <>
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2023 02:14:57 +0000

We have recently noticed at least one pair of what look to us to be white-backed magpies in Belconnen (Emu Ridge).


The photo appears to show a female (somewhat speckled white back) and a white-backed male – as well as some without white backs.  (Overall, we seem to have become a haven for very large numbers of magpies in recent years, roosting/nesting in a nearby large eucalypt and foraging energetically in adjacent gardens.  They ‘all’ seem to ‘know’ us and happily forage within less than a metre of us – and surround us in large numbers whenever we dig in the garden, in the expectation of finding worms or other suitable food in the disturbed soil.  Sometimes, the ‘whole flock’ (certainly all we are aware of at that time) suddenly takes off, apparently in a panic, as if (say) a raptor has been spotted by them, though we’ve not seen the raptor or whatever has frightened them.  Could there be another reason for their sudden, seemingly coordinated flight?)


Are we right about the white backs?  Our past experience, mainly from trips south along the Princes Hwy into Victoria, is that one doesn’t see any white-backs until somewhere about the far south coast (Eden) area.


Kevin Bray




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