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.