A couple of years ago in the Perth suburb of Carine we would be
regularly visited by a group of magpies, one of which was particularly
tame and would sit in the back yard, indulging in its 'quiet sub-song'.
Included in its repertoire were the calls of White-tailed Black
Cockatoos, Kookaburras and Ringnecks. More puzzling was a whirring
repetitive sound that initially reminded me of Satin Bowerbirds and
Superb Lyrebirds in the eastern states.
Was this evidence of some cultural hand-me-down from a past relative
who was familiar with these birds?
Sadly, on reflection, I think not - the sound was also similar to some
house / car alarms.
Happy Christmas to you all
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>Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 17:02:04 +1100
>From: John Larocque <>
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>Subject: Re: MAGPIE MIMICS OTHER BIRDS
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>Is magpie mimicry more prevalent at this time of year?
>Yesterday, the resident male magpie in our back yard was supplementing
>his own carolling with the sounds of Eastern and Crimson Rozella,
>Sparrow, Indian Mynah, Blackbird, Currawong, Red Wattlebird and small
>dog bark. All the sounds of the neighborhood in fact. Pizzey refers to
>it as "Quiet sub-song includes mimicry". Its certainly not anywhere
>as well projected as a Lyrebird, but it can be heard clearly over
>> Hi all... Lorne here...
>> I was surprised to find a MAGPIE out the front of my house the other
>> day, immitating the calls of Noisy Miners, Satin Bowerbird, Currawong
>> and Grey Butcherbird!!!!!! I've NEVER heard a magpie mimic other
>> before! Two of my field guides say they do this though!
>Anne & Roger Green wrote:
>> A female magpie that we hand-reared at the same time as we owned a
>> Terrier used to perch on the overhead power line and bark extremely
>> realistically. As we lived ajacent to a car park we used to enjoy
>> watching people's reactions!
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