Thursday, April 25, 2013

Secret Singers

 Its fall here in Australia. The weather is getting cooler, and I don't see as much variety in the bird world around here. However, apparently magpies stay year round. I've never had a day here when these black and white clad miscreants aren't getting into something they're not supposed to, which lands them in trouble sometimes. Like getting stuck in a garbage can, because they could haul themselves through the protective rubber flat to get inside, but couldn't go the other way. Yes, I let it out. One can only stand a squawking garbage can for so long before having to put a stop to it. Plus it's parents/family were going berserk trying to get it out. Please note, that attempting to rescue said magpie was a bit dangerous as it's family decided I was also a threat and dive bombed me.  Good thing I had a heavy bag with me to fend them off with. 

Making sure the coast is clear. (it wasn't)
Anyway, aside from being extremely protective of family members magpies sing. They sing in warbling fluting liquid tones that remind me very much of water, although I couldn't tell you why. The funny thing is, when they sing, they like to hide it. Its like they're embarrassed that they can make beautiful sounds, and like many humans, only like to sing in private. It was months before I realized that the croaking cawing magpie was the same bird that hid way up in the tree canopy to sing liquid notes throughout the day. They seem to prefer trees with dense foliage when they decide to be singers. If you can't see the branches in the tree, then they're probably in there preparing their next concert.  They're fairly careful about it too. If they see another bird (and it doesn't matter if it's another magpie or not), a human, a dog, a car... whatever it may be, they'll wait until your gone. If they think you can see them, they remain silent. 

Singing in the Rain (yes, seriously)
For this extremely fuzzy photo (it was raining) I had to wait several hours before I got him fluting. He'd see movement in the window and he'd go quiet, or make all sorts of croaking complaints to his cohorts in the tree with him. Eventually he became complacent and I got a couple of pictures of him singing... and then he moved when he realized I was taking pictures. No flying, he just walked up the branches into deeper cover and then started singing again. A couple of his family members took his vacated spot and took turns glaring at my window. Apparently I have broken some law of Magpie protocol by viewing the singing from my window. Granted, they were there first, and I guess I could technically be called a peeping tom. I DO watch them from my window after all, and worse yet, snap pictures. 

Good lord.... 
I'm the bird paparazzi 


P.S. Sorry for not posting too often. I've got classes going and I made the mistake of taking a photography class and a term language unit at the same time. Lets just say that was NOT a good idea, because it barely leaves me time enough to breath let alone anything else.

So, I may be a bit scarce for a while. Five more weeks and I then I'm done with the first semester.

thank god.