Magpie behavior

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
fras444
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:06 pm

Magpie behavior

Postby fras444 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:54 am

The last week while working at a reserve in Taupo.
I have noticed the magpies here actively chasing small passerines, I have read that magpies have been known to supplement their diet with various prey. Is this just "normal this time of year" territorial behavior, or are these birds actually using hunting techniques and preying on these small birds?? I havnt seen a magpie capture a bird yet.
Was wondering if this is quite common throughout the magpie population or are there just select individuals or populations that actively pursue winged prey
Hypno
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:21 pm

Re: Magpie behavior

Postby Hypno » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:23 am

Living in rural Canterbury and having had a couple of pet magpies to observe i rarely saw them pursue other passerines, when i did observe it was towards Blackbirds, and to me it appeared they were not trying to catch and kill as they would quickly give up the chase. I did however find my pet bird eating very Juvenile sparrows on a few occasions that jumped the nest early, so imo preying on other birds for most magpies is opportunistic and or they are chasing another bird out of the area for play or territory. Further to this i also found my pet bird eating tadpoles out of the pond it could reach, more of a smart bird that picks the low fruit and is lazy.
fras444
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:06 pm

Re: Magpie behavior

Postby fras444 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:03 pm

That is real interesting many thanks for that my my mate.
Need to ask you..... what's it like having pet magpies??? I have always thought they are incredibly intelligent birds
Hypno
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:21 pm

Re: Magpie behavior

Postby Hypno » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:43 pm

I found them very playful and interactive as a pet. Is like having a puppy as they chase string flies, feathers and hang upside down off your sleeve. I was able to teach them to whistle, say hello or play dead. Great as company when gardening. Downside was they poo on the hour and the males could be aggressive. one Male i had would be aggressive to select people who at some point teased him and he would forever recognize them as an enemy, he would chase and nip their ankles, just the sight of him the magpie does a taunt snapping the bill making a loud click sound readying to nip an ankle, he was wing clipped so could not fly.

I had a neighbor who;s pet female magpie would build a nest every year and tenaciously defend and incubate the infertile eggs.

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