This is a sight I have often seen, but never before with camera in hand! Finally, I have captured it to share with you.
A pair of magpies lives in a tree near the house, spending much of the day on the lawn leading down to the dam. One of these magpies is particularly territorial, and for some reason the Australian Wood Ducks are not welcome. The magpie does not worry about any other species of bird, and is happy to share the patch with Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Crimson Rosella, Bronzewing Pigeon, Long Billed Corella, and a few other species, but not with the ducks.
Using an effective dive-bombing manoeuvre, the magpie clears the ducks away from its ‘patch’ in a matter of seconds.
I love the ducks being close to the house, and wish they would stand their ground, but they never do. Sometimes they fly away, and return five minutes later, and sometimes they move to the other side of the dam. Today they made for the dam, but within ten minutes were completely gone. I have seen the magpie dive-bombing them while they were swimming in the past. This isn’t so frequent though.
The last photo in this series makes me smile because the magpie seems very proud of itself for having chased the intruders away.
I’ve inserted these photos as a gallery, because there are quite a lot of them. To get the full effect, I recommend clicking on the first photo and scrolling through them in full screen size. Some of the markings on the ducks are just so beautiful when lit by the morning sun. If you get this post by email, you can click to come to the blog and scroll through the gallery.