Death of a Magpie

To: Birding-aus <>, Canberra Birds <>
Subject: Death of a Magpie
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2009 22:22:34 +0000
This morning I sitting in a suburban park in Canberra, the day was warming up to be 30+ but it wasn’t too hot at that point (c7.30).

Behind a nearby tree I saw the rear end of a Magpie projecting and moving. The tail and body were pretty much flat to the ground and the tail was moving side to side. I interpreted this as anting/sunbaking behaviour and I reached into my back-pack to get out my phone in case I could capture a picture of this behaviour (previously I have observed Mapgpies and Currawongs anting/sunbaking, but have never found evidence of ants in the sport where the bird was, after it had moved away).

Getting the phone, turning it on, standing up and creeping towards the bird took about two minutes. By the time I reached the tree and peered round the Magpie was dead and motionless.

This is first time I have actually observed a bird die other than being hit by a car or seized by a raptor. It was an adult bird, with no obvious signs of injury or illness.

John Leonard
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