The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63739   Message #1039231
Posted By: Joybell
21-Oct-03 - 06:01 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Crow Scaring Songs
Subject: RE: Origins: Crow Scaring Songs
Thanks Q and Bob for the comments about the difference between the Australian magpies and such. Bob we have a mutual friend who can do Australian magpie imitations. I have never heard anyone else who could do it. The closest way to describe it is that it's a sort of yodel. The other characteristic of our magpies is their strange behaviour. All birds play, especially when young, but our magpies carry play to extremes. I collected the "games" of magpies and presented the work as a mock-serious collection. It doesn't mean much to any but an Australian but it's a bit of fun. I'll see if it's still on-line and get back for anyone who's interested.
As for the folklore of big black birds - Woden with his pair of ravens must surely have played a major part.
Here farmers call all ravens (there are 3 types)"crows" or "damn crows". As Bob says the real crows are not common. As to calling anything that competes with humans - or is thought to compete - "vermin" that applies here too, to anything from rabbits and foxes (that really are) to kangaroos and cockatoos, all the rodents - native and introduced - vegetarian and carnivorous. Oh dear!   
Bob, possums are not as dumb as they seem are they?