Caroling Platform

Learning to Carol

Two young Magpies have taken to using the bird feeder as a convenient platform while learning how to carol.  At the moment they produce a mix of squeaky or rasping twiddles and trills that are often grating to the ear, but over time they are developing some melodic notes.

I know when they mature their beautiful song will greet me each morning, and I can’t wait for that!

Caroling Platform
Taking position in the centre of the bird feeder, this young Magpie prepares to sing.
Not Quite Melodic
As it sings, the Magpie takes on different postures. This bird sang for at least an hour, with mostly rasping squeaks but I noticed some melodic notes creeping into the song. I think the caroling practice sessions will become much more enjoyable soon.
A Second Caroler
Wanting to get a close-up of the Magpie, I ventured a little too close, and it flew to the ground. Only then did I notice the second caroling Magpie. Seems like it was a duet.

5 thoughts on “Learning to Carol

    1. Yes, it is! After many weeks of the baby Magpies trailing around after the parents, begging for food in that long drawn out creeeaaaky tone, the caroling practice is a development, and a welcome one. It will be even better when they gain the melodic tones they will have as adult birds. Thanks for sharing the joy of this experience. 🙂 Lisa

    1. I’m sure it won’t be long before they are fully mature. It has been fun watching these babies grow. The other untuneful practice calls come from the baby parrots who have to develop their adult voice. The Crimson Rosella’s are fun in that they have many musical notes, and just need to learn to string them together, but the drawn out squeak of a baby cockatoo learning how to develop that full-throated screech can be wearing at times. Sometimes a single squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaak seems to go on for 20 to 30 minutes without a breath – but of course this is impossible, so I don’t know how they do it. 🙂

      I wouldn’t swap it for the world though. I love seeing these babies grow and develop, and the voice development is all part of the natural soundscape. I love it here. Lisa

      1. Love the detail on the developing musicality … have heard those raucous cockatoos; even the kookaburras (Cairns), they certainly have volume. Isn’t it intriguing how bird songs are described phonetically – i love the reading the descriptive ‘score’ in bird books, but better still the iPad apps which come with bird calls. Enjoy the way you celebrate living in your patch 🙂

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