observing birds

Attract Birds To Your Place and keep them Coming - Part 2

bowerbird at the water bathOnce some birds notice your bird bath or water bowl, they'll spread the word very quickly and other birds will also try it out. 

There are a few things you must do to keep them coming:

1. Clean the bird bath and refresh the water daily: if you can, if not, then every second day.  A bristle brush is ideal to scrub the sides, followed by a rinse with fresh water.  This is a necessary step, or else water will get stagnant, even mouldy, certainly filthy and eventually become a source of disease.

if you have placed a big stone or rock in the middle of the bowl to stop it from tipping over, you may find that this will get mouldy over time.  When that happens its best to have a couple of stones, and use them alternately, that gives each one the chance to dry out before being used again.

If the bird bath is not cleaned and refreshed regularly, the birds will stop coming as this will no longer be a viable drinking spot for them.

2. Observe Your Visitors:  Make a note of which birds have started to visit your place.  Are they able to drink comfortably? 

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Wild Birds Love Talking To Humans

juvenile kookaburraWild Birds love communicating with each other, with birds from other species, with other animals and they absolutely love talking to humans.  They may fly off in a flurry at the very start because they may not be sure of your intentions, or they may befeeling particularly shy or self-conscious.  But once they realise that you are sincerely interested in them, they begin to respond and take an interest in you.

Once one bird gets the idea and starts

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Nest Swapping Between Magpies and Crows

Vicky magpie feeding chick in nestIn this picture Vicky magpie has just landed on the branch with some food for the young chicks in her nest. 

The start of winter, i.e. June is the mating season for magpies.  By July the early breeders will have laid their eggs which usually hatch 4 weeks later.  The young hatchlings  spend a month in the nest developing and growing before they fledge.

Vicky is a late breeder. She doesn't lay her eggs until September and it is well into October before we see her fledgelings.

Magpies tend to keep the same nest over the years unless it is destroyed in a storm or other extreme circumstances.  But Vicky  has changed her nest quite often. 

The most remarkable time was when a few years ago she swapped nests with a crow.  The crows nests are bigger and stronger and she immediately got to work to line and soften the inside.  The crow on the other hand lost no time in reinforcing Vicky's old nest and making it more

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If I Were A Duck....(and not just a magpie)!

juvenile magpie Monty having a bathAfter the tragic loss of three gorgeous chicks (and possibly more) Maggie and Vicky were happy to be blessed with Monty and Mindy from Vicky's second clutch in 2007. Sophie loved the pair dearly, they help her heal from her loss. Wendy was happy to have two younger playmates - but was a bit overwhelmed by them at times. 

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My New White-backed Magpie Friends

by Shirley Oelman

I have magpies that visit every now and then and would like to talk about them. 

They first came calling regularly in late July 2009.

 warbling magpies

  17Oct 09, 10:01am  Warbling so beautiful      



At first I ignored them, then, as they seemed so insistent I went out outside to check out the noise.

There were 5 to start with and the numbers dwindled to 2 from November. I threw out onto the ground minced steak, multi grain bread and some varieties of fruit & veg, plus crushed up biscuits. There is always 2 lots of water for them. One of the magpies loved grapes. The other one would not touch them. If I ignored their call one would come up to my front door and call, then stand and wait looking at the door. When I stepped out it (the darker, taller one) ran away a short distance until I called it and dropped food and then it came within 4 foot of me and ate. The light grey one always kept back and never came too close.


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