Magpie Mimicry

To: <>
Subject: Magpie Mimicry
From: "Claire Stevenson" <>
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 20:04:18 +0800
Hi Clive,

Your magpie was probably just sunning himself ... they've tricked me at
first too!

We had a group of 6 maggies that frequented and bred on our property (about
7 yrs ago). One day while enjoying some time outside, one of the males was
watching from an overhanging tree limb. After some vocal exercise I
distinctly heard something say "hello". I looked up expecting to find
somebodies tamed cockatoo or the like. But no body except our maggie. I
dismissed what I heard and went back to the gardening. He then repeated
"Hello" followed by "Good boy". I was stunned! This was the first time I had
heard of a magpie talking (or repeating our human "calls"). He stayed for a
while all the time calling, where I heard Grey Butcherbird, Red Wattlebird,
Carnaby's Black Cockatoo (this was one of his favourites), Laughing
Kookaburra, car alarm, barking and growling dogs, as well as "hello", "hello
boy" and "good boy". I came to the conclusion that someone in the area had
been feeding him or that he may of been a rehabilitated bird. In the years
that followed we heard the same repertoire from other birds in the group.
Since then I've heard many stories of "talking" magpies and have heard some
amazing mimicry from other birds including Grey Butcherbirds and Silvereye.

- CS

 P.S Thanks to Bob & Victor for the list of Online Birding Sites! It will
definately come in handy ...

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