The Swooping Australian Magpie

The Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) is not a corvid, but it’s called a “magpie” and it’s worth mentioning for two reasons:

  1. It’s good for you to know that it’s not a corvid.
  2. Just look at this crazy video:

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The Australian Magpie

Australian Magpies are known for exhibiting aggressive behavior during breeding season. Breeding season is a busy time for birds because they need to accomplish several tasks to ensure that their genetic material is passed on.

This is generally what needs to happen for birds to be successful during a breeding season:

First, birds must find a territory (if they do not already have one). Second, birds must defend their territory throughout the entire season.

Third, birds need to find a mate!

Once these three steps are finished, birds must copulate. After that comes even more work — the entire nesting process!

For humans, this can take a lifetime to accomplish, for birds it can take as little as a few weeks.

The nesting process includes: nest building, choosing a nest, egg laying, incubation, protecting the nest, etc. Finally, they need to raise their young.

For humans, this can take a lifetime to accomplish, for birds it can take as little as a few weeks.

Talk about stressful!

Magpie Aggression

The Australian Magpie is found in (surprise!) Australia and parts of New Guinea.

It’s a well-like songbird and the aggression issue is not something that happens regularly — only during nesting season and only when humans get too close to nesting sites.

When this happens the males will protect the nests and that’s when you have magpies swooping down at passersby.

Check out this video, it even has tips on how to survive magpie nesting season if you’re a cyclist (living in Oz):

For more information visit Wikipedia.

Featured Image Credit: The Australian Magpie. JJ Harrison. CC License 3.0.

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Categories: Birds, Video

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