Let me introduce you to a new feature here at The Thrifty Magpies Nest; it’s called Wildlife Wednesday and will be all about, you’ve guessed it… wildlife!
Wildlife watching is something anyone can do, pretty much anywhere, at any time and best of all, it’s free! Observing the natural wonders around you, whether it is in your garden, outside your office window or as you are driving along bushy verges, is easy peasy. Wildlife is pretty much everywhere you look. Many aspects of wildlife get over looked; to many a bird is just a bird and tree is just a tree, but taking on board some simple knowledge will suddenly open up a whole new world and wildlife becomes even easier to notice and even more wondrous.
Toady’s spotlight is on the wildlife wonder this blog is named after; the magpie’s nest. The magpie is one of my favourite birds due to their intelligence, Cheeky characters and beautiful striking looks. I have hand reared magpie chicks in previous years which you can read about here.
Mr and Mrs Magpie’s nest is easy to spot if you know what you are looking for. At this time of year most maggies will have almost completed their nest and many will already be sitting tight on their egg. It is also the best time of year to spot their nests as the leaves on the trees are not quite out yet making them easy to spot.
Magpie nests are dome shaped constructions made predominantly of twigs and are typically built high up in low trees or shrubs. The domed top is actually a roof built to prevent crows and other egg-stealing predators from getting in.
The nests can easily be spotted from roads bordered by hedges and shrubs. If you see a density of twigs about 50cm diameter you will most likely be looking at a maggie’s nest. If you see 2 or 3 nests fitting the description, it is likely that the other nests are from previous years as magpies often use the same tree several times if they like the spot. The male and female build the nest together and can often be seen carrying twigs on the wing and making a hoo-ha as they go about it. The pair communicates to each other in high pitched squawks and shorter ‘cha, cha cha’ sounds.
There’s a magpies opposite my house I have been watching the couple visit the garden each day looking for stray twigs and scraps of food. Unfortunately I can’t get a decent picture of it so have included some pics from some other lovely snappers on Flickr.
Image source: Marc Watheiu
Image source: Dvortygirl
If you spot a magpies nest, do let me know 🙂