Wednesday, September 28, 2011

angry white backs?

There have been lots of articles in the Sydney Morning Herald at the moment about swooping Magpies. The photo above comes from a great series by Darren Pateman in Newcastle. From the picture above, you can see that Pateman has a camera mounted in his helmet capturing a series of stills with the Magpie in various positions including an amazing image of the maximum downbeat of the birds wings. This article also has some moving images of the event.

 Having grown up in dry woodland country I know exactly the trepidation of having to cross a nesting Magpies territory. There was a pair in the large hockey fields that I had to cross from Kingswood station to the Univeristy of Western Sydney campus. For six weeks I would walk with a automatically-opening fold-up umbrella at the ready to point towards the incoming bird. The 'pop' of the umbrella worked every time to dissuade the bird from attacking me. 

One of the things I am enjoying about seeing this common bird in Launceston is that the subspecies hereCracticus. tibicen hypoleuca is a "White backed" magpie where as the magpies in Sydney are C. tibicen tibicen and are part of the "Black back" group.
Anyone know of a swooping male in Launceston?

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