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Better watch out for the maggies!

By Big Al - 23 August 2006 54

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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54 Responses to
Better watch out for the maggies!
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Thumper 8:04 am 25 Aug 06

RA got a good long mention about this issue on Radio SGS yesterday afternoon.

In fact they quoted three or four quotes.

Xanthomyza 2:27 pm 24 Aug 06

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 🙂

bonfire 2:26 pm 24 Aug 06

they are called ‘port power’ birds.

Thumper 12:10 pm 24 Aug 06

Another interesting fact.

The magpie is actually a pied butcher bird. There is another butcher bird that looks almost exactly the same as a magpie but the markings are slightly different.

Ari 12:05 pm 24 Aug 06

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.

Big Al 11:53 am 24 Aug 06

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.

bonfire 11:27 am 24 Aug 06

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.

vg 10:42 am 24 Aug 06

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

Thumper 8:15 am 24 Aug 06


leave the maggies alone. As I said, all Australian kids should have the right to be swooped by a magpie at least once in their lives.

To not be swooped is to be unAustralian.

andy 6:40 pm 23 Aug 06

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.

Mr Evil 5:24 pm 23 Aug 06

Put the magpies in the gaol when it built?

Shit, they could be the darn guards!

barking toad 4:45 pm 23 Aug 06

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

Absent Diane 4:41 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

Big Al 4:38 pm 23 Aug 06

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!

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