Re: Willie Wagtail v Kookaburra

Subject: Re: Willie Wagtail v Kookaburra
From: "Denyse Cusack" <>
Date: Fri, 06 Nov 1998 19:18:15 PST
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>From: "Terry Pacey" <>
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>Subject: Willie Wagtail v Kookaburra
>Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998 19:09:51 +1000
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>Further to my earlier posting re harassment of Kookaburras, one Willie
>Wagtail insisted on jumping on the back and /or head of the Kookaburra 
>pecking it (hard) three or four times before retreating.  This 
>continued for over five minutes with the Kookaburra only attempting to
>retaliate twice.
>I have seen Willie Wagtails harass other species before but not by 
>landing on the target.
>I guess he was lucky to find a tolerant Kookaburra.
>Terry Pacey
>I once had a male Magpie occupying a Silky oak outside my living-room 
window.  All Spring and Summer this bird was harrassed from dawn to dusk 
by a pair of noisy Willie wagtails who took turns at sitting on his 
shoulders and pecking his head or flying so hard at him that he nearly 
fell off his perch.  The only thing that would induce him to leave was 
when he got hungry and went to dig around the garden for grubs.  It was 
only at this time, also, that the Wagtails had a break to feed their 
chicks but I did wonder how they survived the neglect.  The Magpie was 
not once seen to retaliate.  His sense of ownership of the tree was so 
strong, he put up a hilarious show of defence when a flock of 
tree-creepers landed on the trunk.  As they encircled the tree 
collecting insects  he hung upside down on the lowest branch to chase 
them away.  When that failed he dropped to the ground and tried to reach 
them by jumping up and snapping at them.  As the Tree-creepers stayed 
inches out of reach he conpromised by attempting to eat the same insects 
before the creepers got to them, a resource that he had previously not 
had the slightest interest in.

Denyse Cusack

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