car surfing magpie-lark

Subject: car surfing magpie-lark
From: John Boyce <>
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2007 09:41:13 +1000
Hi everyone,
I work at Monash University in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne and have recently seen some bizarre behaviour from a magpie lark near work. After you get off the Monash freeway at Forster Rd. there are traffic lights as you wait to turn into Forster Rd. For the last 6-9 months there has been a Magpie-lark spending a lot of time at this intersection and it will continuously fly betwen the two cars at the front of the line (while they are stopped) pecking and attacking reflections in the windows, roof and mirrors. It only ever seems to attack the front cars in the line. More interestingly recently it appears to have learnt to car surf; as the cars start and go around the corner it will stay on the roof for a while and then (purposefully?) slide down the windscreen of the car as it get faster round the corner. As the car gets up to around 20-30 km/hr it will then open up its wings and fly/get blown over the top of the car and back to where it can attack the next set of cars. This behaviour appears to be all about having fun rather than attacking any possible reflected intruder.

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