Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13. Day 318. Feeding time

I'm pretty sure I know how to speak Magpie and as such I can tell you exactly what's going on in this scene I photographed near my house at Highgate Hill this morning.*
The little one is squawking about being hungry. The bemused look on the older bird is clearly "What? Again? Still?"
Feeding the family can seem like a manning the sushi train - food goes on, food goes off. Repeat. Often.
The catering conveyor belt. What fun (not). At least with hands we have an advantage when it comes to feeding the hatchlings. This beak-to-beak business is strictly for the birds.
But I get it Mummy Magpie. Which mother hasn't had that last tasty morsel almost snatched from her mouth? Who hasn't given away the last piece of chocolate or the last chip?
Feeding the family comes first, right? (although a secret stash of Tim Tams is totally within the rules. You can possibly adequately meet the others if you don't look after yourself, right?)
In any event, I found the devotion of the older bird to the gluttonous youngster touching. It gave me a warm inner glow right until I got home and had to start the business of breakfast for my own squawking brood. 
It's enough to make you want to take flight or seek out those Tim Tams. All's fair in love and catering.

*Note you will be very surprised to learn that I don't actually speak Magpie. You will be further stunned to discover that I know nothing about Magpies and have no idea if this is even an adult and a juvenile bird. However in the best tradition of my craft, I never let the truth get in the way of a good story. The editor's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. If the Magpie thinks it has been misrepresented it can put a complaint in writing.


  1. Ah, brilliant, one of your best yet...and there's a lot to choose from, 318 in fact. Images, words, everything.

  2. Your interpretation is spot-on. Every year we have three large scruffy young magpies following a parent around and begging. The noise annoys us - can only imagine what it does to the parents.

  3. love your imagination, funnily enough I have birds today as well