Today is unseasonably mild: 28 C, 40% humidity. My freesias are opening and my roses starting to sprout. You know what this means?
Oh we have a magpie family living somewhere around here. Those are some loud birds.
A juvenile magpie has taken a liking to the windowsill of my bedroom…
Owing to the bewilderment of early British settlers in Australia, the birds called “magpies” here are not closely related to those called “magpies” in the old country. For example, they aren’t corvidae.
Funny you say that, we have them here in NZ, and they looked the part to me. Even our local rugby team (Hawke’s Bay) are the Magpies. Although I don’t see them so much by towns as I used to in the UK, here there are very much limited to the countryside, so there is a difference in behaviour, I am glad to learn they are not corvids, even though they completely look like they are.
I live next to a graveyard and I quite often look out the window to see (what I’d like to think are ravens but are more likely) crows perched on top of headstones. Or maybe they’re rooks? After a wiki trawl I’m no closer to knowing the difference
Crows are bigger and quite rare these days, so probably rooks (Krähe in German)
I’m going to keep my eye out now, I will report back
Keep your ears open too. The British rook and crow have names similar to (some) of their calls. Crows make a craw sound, and rooks a raawk.
All the crows round my way are hoodies. Magpies don’t make it this far west/north.
I know they’re considered an introduced pest in NZ, but I love the Australian magpie’s “quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle” call. I knew one who could also do an uncanny imitation of a lawnmower and a dog barking. Anyway, naming the seasons after birds is a great idea.
Looking forward to @tomm_archer’s graveyard report .
Well, if your eye is out, the crow will find it easier to get hold of.
Just some juvenile E. Magpies at the moment messing about.
I saw the TBCrows earlier. I don’t think they’re Rooks since they had dark beaks.
Another report to follow.
I should mention we also have buzzards round here as well.
I don’t know if it applies elsewhere, but there is a useful mnemonic in Ontario for telling crows and ravens apart.
If you see it and think “Gosh, that’s a big black bird, maybe it’s a raven?”, it’s a crow.
If you see it and think “Holy f**k, that thing is HUGE!” then it’s a raven.
On the subject of magpies:
I’ take these magpies over pukekos (swamphens). At least they are not suicidal. They are the silly pheasants of NZ in regards to roadkills.
Having visited the Tower of London, I can confirm that that ravens are indeed f***ing enormous.
Sorry about the quality, it was far away.
Hmm… for me, that’s a jackdaw. Looks to have a more silvery sheen to the back if the head, probably about the right size too. If you can catch the eyes in a photo it would be a clear indication, as they have pale eyes.
I will keep an eye out. They haven’t been too near the building lately.
Jackdaws tend to be pretty communal too. The RSBP has a great website for looking up British bird species, including recordings of calls; its a good first reference point if you don’t have any ID books or twitchers to hand.