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Magpie Trouble in Spring #TroveTuesday

August 31, 2020

Today is the first day of spring. With spring comes the magpies. I love spring but dread the magpies, swooping me, while bikeriding or walking.

from: Warragul Guardian, May 28, 1895, page 3

ARE MAGPIES PESTS?
SWOOPING DOWN AMONG THE FOWLS.

Magpies are becoming quite a pest in the Broadford district, and owing to their destructive proclivities must be termed an enemy to the farmer. These birds are to be seen in large numbers in this part, and a farmer says that when his fowls are being fed, they swoop down in flocks, and drive the fowls away from their feed and eat it themselves. One morning there were fully 800 magpies busily devouring the food meant for the fowls, and the farmer was so exasperated that he fired on them, and in three shots he says he killed 15 of the pests.

Grain has been sown and as soon as the blade appears, the birds dig out the grains and eat them, the blade being an indicator as to where to dig, and the consequence is that the land will need to be re-sown. Some time back a controversy was carried on between farmers and naturalists in town, the latter stating that all the birds submitted to them for examination, had no trace of grain in their ” gizzards.” There are farmers here who are willing to show birds they have killed with their ” gizzards” full of grain. The magpie usually lives on worms, insects, and when these are plentiful they do not trouble the grainfields, but the continued dry and frosty weather prevents the birds from obtaining their usual food, and they eat grain. One of these birds when disturbed while picking a bone by the little daughter of a townsman, the other day flew at her face and clawed her cheek and forehead, narrowly escaping the eye. It the pest does not decrease some farmers intend to lay poison, although the magpie is a protected bird.

ARE MAGPIES PESTS? (1895, May 28). Warragul Guardian (Warragul, Vic. : 1895 – 1900), p. 3 (Bi-weekly.). Retrieved August 30, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article67443503

from: The Daily News, Perth WA, August 16, 1949, page 1

Swooping Magpie Starts a Flight of Currency

SYDNEY, Tues: A Melbourne man last night recovered a wallet which a magpie stole from him when he stepped out of an aircraft at Mascot on Sunday evening. Mr. William Dye, of Brunswick, was leaving the Brisbane plane and talking to a fellow passenger when a magpie swooped down and seized the wallet from his hand. It contained four £10 notes. The bird flew into a clump of trees on the east side of the airfield. With the help of some schoolboys, Mr. Dye searched the trees yesterday and found his wallet lining a magpie’s nest.

Swooping Magpie A Flight Of Currency (1949, August 16). The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 – 1950), p. 1 (HOME). Retrieved August 30, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article83098749

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