- Created: Sunday, 09 September 2012 00:00
- Written by Nadia O’Carroll
The Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) is a familiar visitor to many gardens.
Magpies have a melodious, warbling, caroling call and can sometimes be heard on bright moonlit nights. They can mimic other birdsong, dogs, horses and humans. Juvenile birds have a persistent begging squawk and may occasionally be seen rolling around the ground playing together, unusual behaviour for birds. The birds walk rather than hop along the ground.
They are territorial birds with complex social and family lives in tribes and flocks. Tribes are structured groups of 2-24 birds which defend a territory and usually raise one brood of chicks. Flocks are more nomadic and consist of many more birds, mainly young and less successful non-breeding magpies. There is high mortality rate among chicks and juveniles however adults may live up to thirty years.