Magpie Lark(?) Attacking ChildrenintheMelbourneSuburbs

To: "Peter Shute" <>, "Mike Jarman" <>, "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Magpie Lark(?) Attacking ChildrenintheMelbourneSuburbs
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 13:37:46 +1000

I'm wondering whether 'attack' is a misinterpretation of the birds behaviour. I hand-feed lots of birds by demand in my back-garden, (discuss your disgust between yourselves if you wish but no correspondence will be entered into!), and I believe it could be just an attention seeking device. Currently the boldest and most demanding is Mud, a male Magpie-lark, an extraordinary and charming bird. His method of ensuring he gets his food first (his is a special diet) started with him sitting on my shoulder and emitting that ear-piercing shriek of theirs directly into my ear-drum. This was very painful for me and did not achieve the desired reaction for him, in fact he found that it was counter-productive. So he amended that strategy to sitting on my head, to which I am not averse. But if I am too slow to please him, he will try to settle on my nose or on my spectacle shafts! The other day his foot slipped and one claw went through my eyelid drawing blood.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
Tel  (03) 9787 7136

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