The Australian Magpies are monogamous, and would mate and breed in their respective territories that they defend against predators and other groups of magpies. Feet: Feet are clawed, and can grab hold the prey firmly. Its nape, upper tail and shoulder are white in males, grey in females. The females would also feed the young birds, once they are hatched. By Ben Westcott, CNN. In the extreme south-west, south-east, central Australia, and in Tasmania, the rump part and the back are completely white. Generally speaking, killing native animals is illegal in Australia unless you have a licence or relevant authorisation to do so. The Australian Magpies do not migrate in the sense of whole populations traveling long distances, but independent groups can move from place to place locally. When they feel threatened, magpies will emit several high-pitched alarm calls. Size: The length of these birds is 37 to 43 cm (14.5–17 in) with a wingspan of 65–85 cm (26–33 in). As they successfully defend their turfs, they will burst into song (known as ‘carolling’). During attack, these birds would mostly strike on the head of the victim with their beaks and claws. Australian Magpies are strongly territorial and defend their territories both from other magpies as well as potential predators. The nesting season of these birds is between August and October. Like its close contender, the White Ibis (or ‘bin chicken’), the magpie can elicit mixed emotions among its human neighbours. Join us, volunteer and be a part of our journey of discovery! However, the birds would never cross the sides. These birds are infamous for their typical attack on humans (and even other animals) that happen to enter their territories, especially during breeding seasons. When one of their own kind dies, a grouping will form around the body for a “funeral” of squawks and cries. The chicks are fed by their mother and have feathers and are ready to fly in about four weeks. I really enjoyed reading these facts, I strongly recommend this. Magpies are territorial birds and in the breeding season (which is right now, as I write this, in September) a small percentage of the males become quite aggressive towards people approaching the nest. There are nine distinct varieties (sub-species) of these birds. Australian Magpies are spread across areas, wherever they find a combination of tress along with adjacent open areas, which includes playing fields, parks, etc. They also consume bigger animals like frogs, skinks, mice, etc. The Australian magpie is found in southern New Guinea’s Trans-Fly region, between the Princess Mariane Strait and the Oriomo River, and across most parts of the continent of Australia. Unfortunately, some individual magpies perceive humans as a potential threat and accordingly, swoop down with a fast warning flight, occasionally making contact. They build their nests at up to 15 meters above the ground in the outer branches of trees. — Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection, Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI), Natural Sciences research and collections, Australian Museum Lizard Island Research Station, 2020 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes finalists, 2020 Australian Museum Eureka Prize winners, Become a volunteer at the Australian Museum. They join a group until they can gain a place in a territory as an adult breeding bird. ‘Magpie pox’ is caused by a pox virus, which is specific only to the Australian magpies. They have a complex social structure, and would usually move around in flocks. However, these birds avoid the regions covered by densest vegetation or forests, and even the arid regions of the deserts. If you feel a magpie is a serious menace, it should be reported to your local council or the nearest NPWS office. Magpies occur over much of Australia, often live in small groups of up to five individuals (in Queensland), and take up territories that include nesting and roosting trees and grassy feeding areas. Only a small minority of Australian Magpies behaves like this, and some of these aggressive magpies will only swoop on particular people. The call is particularly noticeable at dawn and dusk. They are absent only from the densest forests and arid deserts. According to the Wikipedia link above: These magpies may engage in an escalating series of behaviours to drive off intruders. Image credit: gadigal yilimung (shield) made by Uncle Charles Chicka Madden. Your email address will not be published. The young birds would then join a new group which can count up to more than 80 members of adolescents and evicted juveniles. Magpies warble and chortle a cheerful chorus at dawn and during the day – and sometimes in the middle of the night! This applies to magpies as well. Some groups (like those from New Zealand) usually consist of single pairs, or else might pair with the young from the previous brood. The Aussie Magpies have a wide variety of simple to complex calls, the pitch of which may vary over up to 4 octaves: The Australian Magpie is omnivorous, and is essentially a butcher bird that feeds and forages on the ground level. Weight: These magpies weigh between 220 and 350 grams (8–12 oz). BirdLife Australia reported a 31% decline in magpie populations along the east coast. They're a gardener's dream, a cyclist's nightmare, and according to the Guardian's poll, Australia's bird of the year. Thank you for reading. Across most of Australia, the remainder of the body is black. This bird are good at mimicry, and can mimic the voices of over 35 species of native and introduced birds, and even those of other animals like horses and dogs. While the savvy birds, who mostly feed on live foods such as invertebrates or nuts, seeds or creepy crawlies like earthworms and spiders, will often approach humans for food, Maguire says it is imperative that people refrain from feeding magpies unless they have a permit. This is very informing. If you do stumble upon a magpie nesting area or find a magpie swooping at you, walk away quickly and calmly, and try to maintain eye contact with the bird to scare it off. If a magpie that is defending its nest becomes aggressive and a risk to human safety the magpie may, in some instances, be removed. Magpies do not have the best of reputations. Our garden seems to be the preferred neighbourhood hangout for the local magpies and I have never had any problems with them, even in breeding season. To portion food to their young, magpies will use self-made utensils to cut meals into proper sizes. By understanding magpies and knowing how to behave around them, you can stay safe from a swooping magpie. When alone, a magpie will make a quiet, musical warbling noise, which does not carry for long distances. The natural enemies of these birds include the barking owl, and quite a few species of monitor lizards. The Australian Magpie is black and white, but the plumage pattern varies across its range. You have reached the end of the page. With its aggressive behaviour and appetite for young chicks, the magpie doesn't have a particularly good image when it comes to compassion. Unfortunately, some individual magpies perceive humans as a potential threat and accordingly, swoop down with a fast warning flight, occasionally making contact. This applies to magpies as well. Some Australian Magpies can be very aggressive during breeding season and attacks on humans and pets can occur. Magpies are protected throughout NSW, and it is against the law to kill the birds, collect their eggs, or harm their young. When they live in close proximity to humans, they have been noted imitating human speech. The female usually does all the works including selecting the nest site within the territory, gathering nesting materials and building the nest, laying and incubating the eggs. In Australian aboriginal lore, the symbolism and occult meaning of the magpie is associated to ‘motherly love’, ‘protection’, and ‘provision’.