Our Magpie Family

Breakfast with the family

Breakfast with the family

Making sure they all get a feed

Making sure they all get a feed. You can see all the babies are squawking, “My turn, my turn”


They all love Jack

They all love Jack

This is a story that goes back to 1998 when we moved to Australia and bought a house in Queensland. A magpie would visit each morning and we called him Andy. After a while he brought along his partner and we called her Ladybird. Andy was a very gentle bird he would wait till Ladybird had her feed from Jack’s hand then carefully take what Jack offered him.

On rainy days they would shelter on the deck and serenade us with the most beautiful, vibrant song and then make soft warbling sounds in the back of their throat. It is the sound of the Aussie bush, we loved it.

As time went by they had babies and would bring them along to introduce them to us. Most years they had two or three but in 2007 they had 5 babies, (count them in the top photo).

The next year Andy disappeared. We were very sad.

Ladybird continued to come on her own for a while, then one day she brought along a new partner. A large, brash, younger looking bird that we called Toyboy. He was the opposite to gentle Andy, pushing Ladybird out-of-the-way and helping himself to most of the food. When their babies came along they inherited their father’s temperament, being quarrelsome and picking on each other.

After a few months they all stopped visiting us and we never saw them again and shortly after we set off on our round Australia trip.

Whenever I hear the song of the magpie it reminds me of the time we had a beautiful wild bird as our friend.




Categories: Australia, birds, magpies, Michelle's weekly pet challenge, photography | Tags: , , , , | 31 Comments

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31 thoughts on “Our Magpie Family

  1. fascinating story … isn’t it interesting that she found another partner? we have a friendly magpie here, called Mags, and her partner is very shy, never coming close … but after one lot of babies they have failed to breed for the past four or five years … Mags loves to work in the vegetable garden with Stuart, and enjoys all the witchetty grubs he finds for her 🙂

  2. What a lovely story and memory, and thank you so much for sharing it. I love it!

  3. RMW

    Great story…. thanks!

  4. A very nice story and pictures.

  5. Okay. Well that made me cry! I am sending this to my hubby. Come back Magpies, come back!

  6. Fascinating relationship with nature. How wonderful!!

  7. Madoqua

    Magpies are amongst my favourite birds and I loved your story about them. I don’t have any in my garden with names, but there are a lot that come and go. We used to have one with a broken beak at work and he was the only one allowed to have tidbits frome the lunch table!

    • They really are characters. I love the way they strut around. Did you see the YouTube of the dog and magpie playing together?

  8. Andy had me trained when he warbled I went and got his breakfast.
    One of the many wonderful memories thanks for putting it in your blog.
    I loved Andy and Gonzo the Butcher Bird, have we got any photos of Gonzo?

  9. A wonderful story. The pictures are amazing of how many they were too! Thank you so much for sharing this! Interesting too that when her mate died, she got a new one. And the difference in character! But we have magpies in our garden and I have noticed how clever they are. No near contact like you were lucky to have though.

    • I rather think Toyboy found her on her own and moved in, he was very pushy…
      The only time Andy got aggressive was during the nesting season and the only person he would “swoop” was the poor old postman on his motorbike, but he had a helmet on so he was ok

  10. Pingback: Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge; Round up and start of new week.Pos | Hope* the happy hugger

  11. Amazing photo’s and lovely story.. Jack just directed me on over.. 🙂 and so pleased he did 🙂
    _/\_ Sue

    • It was a pleasure to have them visit us and so sad when they stopped coming as we guessed Andy must’ve died as he never missed coming to visit except for short periods when they had babies in the nest. I guess he was too busy then. But as soon as the babies were old enough to fly he brought them over to visit us.

  12. Splendid photos,and what a treat to be so close to a family of magpies that you could recognise personalities and inherited traits!

  13. I would like permission to use your photo titled “They all love Jack” to attach to a story i have written about a magpie, happy to send you a copy is required.
    Jim Pearce

  14. Reblogged this on Memories are made of this and commented:

    This is a story of a delightful magpie family that adopted us as part of their family. I thought it would be appropriate for including in Jude’s “Garden Photography Challenge”

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