Talking about things

Smart magpies

It’s 40 degrees Celsius outside and I’m trying to take a photo of the magpie outside the door.  So far, all I’ve done is scare it away.

So no photo for this blog.

We lived in the country when we were kids. We rode our bikes everywhere.  When we weren’t swimming in the creek, that was.

Spring added an extra hazard to any bike ride.  Swooping magpies, protecting their nests.  (I’m talking the Australian magpie here, which is a different species to the European magpie.)

If you’ve never been swooped by a magpie—it’s scary, and there’s nothing you can do about.  Well, there is, but some of the commonly accepted methods—like putting eyes on the back of your bike helmet, or on an upside-down ice-cream container worn on your head (sans ice-cream, of course)—don’t work.

Magpies are territorial, and we have magpies who live in our yard. They don’t swoop us.  (I hope I haven’t jinxed us by writing this blog.)  Their song is lovely in the morning.  They’re also great mimics.

Anyway the magpies quickly learned that evaporative cooling is as good for them as it is for us.  It doesn’t take them long to find the door we have open when we turn on the air conditioner. And that’s where they settle themselves, right in the breeze, for as long as we have the cooler on.

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