The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #63739   Message #1039976
Posted By: Bob Bolton
22-Oct-03 - 07:19 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Crow Scaring Songs
Subject: RE: Origins: Crow Scaring Songs
G'day Q,

I'm afraid our Austral(as)ian Magpies (gymnorhina tibicen - et al) have been scientifically fingered as robbing nests. Sydney University researchers left dummy eggs, with a malleable surface, in nests about the Sydney suburbs ... and later examined them for beak marks. The overwhelming majority of beak marks could be clearly identified as magpie.

Formerly, it was the slightly larger currawongs (strepera spp.) that were blamed for the loss of smaller (songbird) species in the suburbs. I suspect that the main reason that more plantings of native species of tree have reversed that trend is that many of the native trees have dense twiggy foliage that permits the small birds to nest in spots with good cover and difficult access to larger birds.

BTW: Just try to counter the ornithological thread drift away from music, I have (somewhere in my records) and assortment of tunes written from, or based on, the songs of Australian magpies and related species, such as butcher birds. This was an article I published in Mulga Wire many years back. I must dig it out and hear how they sound.


Bob Bolton