The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63739   Message #1038682
Posted By: Bob Bolton
20-Oct-03 - 08:15 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Crow Scaring Songs
Subject: RE: Origins: Crow Scaring Songs
G'day Joybell,

" ... bit of a digression but Bob do you have Black-backed Magpies? or White-backed? or both? 'round your way."

I live in Sydney - and we have Black-backed Magpies (which eat the eggs of most smaller birds ... but smaller native species are making something of a comeback as more native trees supplant European/American "ferals"!). My understanding is that Black-backed Magpies are the "eastern" race - from the Pacific coast to the Blue Mountains - and the White-backed Magpies are found west of the Divide.

I guess I would trim that to "west of the Blue Mts" (not quite the same thing) - especially after last weekend when I was at the home of friends in Clarence, just before you descend to Lithgow. There is a resident young Black-backed Magpie (a fallen nestling rescued by Helen, who is a WIRes carer - mostly for macropods, but also for birds and bats). This one has a few problems ... he can't decide whether he is a Currawong or a dog - producing both Currawong song ... and strange dog noises when he raids the dogs' bowls! (He also manages an approximation of Magpie song!) Anyway, when I went down to Lithgow on Saturday morning, I immediately noticed that the local Magpies were White-backed species ... so the western slopes of the Blue Mts seems to be the dividing line.


Bob Bolton