Friday, October 7, 2016

Birds: Currawongs versus Australian Magpies

Soon after I had my Bangalow/Alexander Palms cut down, the currawongs deserted my backyard. A good thing because they are very pushy and would swoop even me regularly.

Yellow-eyed currawong, size of a large crow, eating a palm berry. 

At ten metres, the palms grew too tall for the suburban scene. At about one metre distance from a neighbouring property and August winds on the horizon, I feared for children in one neighbour's pool and solar panels on another neighbour's roof. Plus, currawongs from far and wide regularly to feed on the crimson berries. With forty birds bending the branches of a nearby bottlebrush, it wasn't worth the trouble trying to garden,. They were fairly threatening.

A pair of Bangalows or Alexander Palms in flower
For about a week after the trees were cut down, the currawongs swooped through the yard at low altitude. Then they left, though not the district. Their carolling is loud and melodious.

Magpie, with red eye, the quick way to tell them apart. 
Magpie beaks seem to me to be pointier than a currawong's beak. They seem more specialised toward hopping around the backyard with their heads cocked, listening for creatures in the soil, and pricking out worms and such. Which is what the magpie visitor does when I am out there digging or weeding. They aren't generally as aggressive, and in addition, there tends to be only one bird here at one time.