23 August 2006

Better watch out for the maggies!

| Big Al
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Local ABC 666 was reporting at their mid-day bulletin that another outcome of the ACT Governments tough budget will be that Environment ACT (or Urban Services or whatever their called now) will no longer be dealing with problem or nuisance magpies. Seems that previously if you got jack of a magpie swooping you every time you left the house you could call a hotline and a nice man from the Government would come around with a slug-gun and dispose of the nuisance bird.

Vicki Dunn has apparently been quoted as saying that this is yet another example of the kind of services that Canberran’s will have to get used to living without because of the Stanhope Governments incompetent financial management.

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Thumper and others

The Australian Magpie is closely related to the Pied Butcherbird (rare here, common out west) and the Grey Butcherbird (more common here than Pied BB) Some photos of the three are here.

The zone between white-backed and black-backed magpies is to our south. You can see all sorts of variations in the amount of white in the back in individuals around town.

Some more stuff on maggie races and swooping avoidance tips here.

The back of the neck in males is pure white. Females have a grey wash through the white neck.

I’m told that magpie gonads swell to 20 times their normal size during breeding. I reckon we’d all be cranky too if that happened to us 🙂

they are called ‘port power’ birds.

There are a few of the southern-type magpies around Canberra, it’s really quite a striking difference when you see them among the northern-style mob.

I was told that the boundary between the southern magpies and the northern ones (as described by Bonfire) is actually just south of here near Michelago … no idea if its true or not.

interesting things i know about magpies:

around geelong in vic the aboriginal name for magpie is broworrona (roughly)

magpies in vic have reverse black and white markings to magpies in the act.

they have long memories.

older magpie beaks turn very white.

they prefer to swoop blondes (i dont know why)

i have NEVER been swooped by a magpie despite walking daily through known swoop zones.

thats all i got.

Explain that to the Tuggeranong family who had their 3yo daughter’s eye taken out by a magpie.

If they swoop when they aren’t being threatened (i.e someone casually strolls past them or has the audacity to ride their bike within 300m of a nest) then they should be eradicated.

The last thing a magpie will do is going anywhere near my child

magpies learn… some post grad, or somethin, at CSU, demonstrated with a couple of people. they’d walk through a magpies territory, and just keep goin.
the other guy, he’d eye off the magpie, and seem threatening to it.
3 years later, same group of people, magpie continued to attack the guy that was threatening, but not the other ones.

moral to the story, if it swoops, bash it.

Put the magpies in the gaol when it built?

Shit, they could be the darn guards!

barking toad4:45 pm 23 Aug 06

Magpies will be swooping on Sunday and confirm the wooden spoon as belonging to carlton

Absent Diane4:41 pm 23 Aug 06

at least that way they are assured of swooping… but then again coming from a family with money doesn’t always mean that a child is worthy of a decent swooping.

mods please stop us

Apparently one of the reasons that the Government has stopped dealing with the nuisance magpies is to stem the flow of bird swooping to the private sector. Apparently wealthy parents are increasingly preferring to have their children swooped privately!

Definitely lefty. Think about it – a magpie will always wait until you are not looking at them before swooping down and snapping a chunk of scalp off of the back of your head. If they were conservative they would look you in the eye as it attacked – and you’d know it was going to hurt, but you couldn’t help feeling like you probably deserved it …

Absent Diane4:32 pm 23 Aug 06

i don’t know… but I can say that I have never seen a red maggie flying around…

Thumper, before we rush to mediation, wouldn’t it make more sense to consult broadly and widely with the community and have consultants come in to develop a feasibility study and position paper?

Absent Diane4:25 pm 23 Aug 06

what ever happens out of this interesting situation… we can all be sure that john stanhope will raise the maggies as a national issue on par with stem cell research, anti-terror laws and who should win father of the year..

A light rail network should be built to transport these buggers away.

Although the noise will undoubtedly be a *HUGE* problem for the inner north residents though.

James-T-Kirk4:12 pm 23 Aug 06

Ahh, The dangers of owning a herritage nest.

Best to “renovate” it with a bulldozer a couple of years before it ends up on the herritage list. That way, people will be able to paint it whenever they want.

I would be more concerned about misaligned minor birds.

What: pinko skinks!? What about lezzo lizards?

look on the bright side, at least they aren’t these bastards

Absent Diane3:57 pm 23 Aug 06

pink tailed skinks that ride on recucumbant bikes???

Absent Diane3:36 pm 23 Aug 06

Sorry mate.. 😛

so long as he doesn’t close down the heritage nests I don’t care!!

Perhaps Andrew Barr could close down 39 magpie nests…

Actually, I got my first serious Magpie attack ever last year (I’m in my thirties). So are the maggies getting more ruthless in recent years?

And can we blame Stanhope or the local courts for this, somehow? Stronger penalties for magpies!

Absent Diane3:26 pm 23 Aug 06

Islamic Pies? Mag Extremists? im confused

Maybe magpies are Islamic extremists?

Absent Diane3:17 pm 23 Aug 06

No I think this is more aa’s flavour – if maybe the humans would just stop attacking magpies then the magpies will stop attacking us…

The problem isn’t that people can’t take care of the magpies, it’s that up until now the Government has preferred to relocate them rather than have them killed.

Obviously The Stanhope Government has decided they’d rather go back to the old ways.

Canberra is also a country town…..

AD if you bring aa to this thread I will hunt you down and feed you to the ants….

Absent Diane3:08 pm 23 Aug 06

yup this nation is breeding a bunch of wimps… I blame JW Howard and all his over protectiveness with terrorists and stuff..

okay well thats a bit over the top and a blatant off topic attempt… that I will now retract.

I think it’s symptomatic of the very urban existence we share here in Canberra and the fact that we – as a population it seems – feel that ‘someone’ should come and fix all myriad of problems rather than getting on with it ourselves.

I recall, years ago, speaking to a ranger who had just shifted from ACT Parks to the NSW NPWS across in Queanbeyan – she told me that one of the good things about working in Queanbeyan was that she very rarely got called out to deal with snakes. In Canberra, when someone sees a snake in their yard their first response is to call the Government and have someone come and take it away – rangers were kept busy with snake duties all through the warmer months. Her belief was that in Queanbeyan, people felt capable of dealing with it themselves – either by just ignoring it until it moved on or by getting a shovel from the shed and dispatching the scaly beastie themselves – she put it down to Canberra being a city and Queanbeyan being a country town.

feeding them strips of meat just gives them a taste for blood

My God, they’re only aggressive for a few weeks a year, and that’s usually because people are arseholes and provoke them by throwing shit at them. Kids need scarring up a little anyway, and what more Australian way than by having a magpie take a chunk out of your temple?

We’re breeding a nation of soft little wankers, and the ANZACS would be appalled.

I’ve never met a magpie that I didn’t like. 🙂

Lob a brick at the bloody things – stop farkin about with people from the Gvmt coming to sort out our lives for every little trauma. If you have kids hang around with them like you’re supposed to remember.

Absent Diane2:34 pm 23 Aug 06

apologies for making the worst joke ever… I just couldn’t resist…

I actually got swooped last year for the first time in about 15 years.. it shocked me a little… the worst thing is these maggies are nesting on the walk to the pub.. so I can’t exactly tame them..

James-T-Kirk2:26 pm 23 Aug 06

Untill you move, then they will get narky at the others who are still there. Especially the children, who cant defend themselves.

Us adults can pick up a stick, and take a swing back, but the 3 year olds simply get attacked.

Shouldn’t be protected in my books.

Absent Diane2:25 pm 23 Aug 06

then when the magpies are feeding people can capture them and kill them and make MagPie

barking toad2:20 pm 23 Aug 06

Just expanding on an idea someone posted in another thread – seeing as the roo carcasses aren’t being collected, if you’ve got a swooping problem, collect a carcass and drop it where the maggies are nesting.

The maggies will love you for the food source and, in theory, stop swooping.

That is my theory and it is mine, cough, cough.

James-T-Kirk2:19 pm 23 Aug 06

Wo Hoo,

Next one injured gets to sue the local council.

At least various councils in QLD have taken action against dangerous palm trees, lest they drop coconuts on an unsuspecting tourist…

At least the govmit here could do the same for those pesky birds.

But if it gets bad enough, I can post the instructions that my Daddy showed me to build yer own ‘problem solvin’ maggie shoota… Worked back before there was a govmit to worry about.

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