One of my readers asked me about a bird that appeared in one of my photos It was an Australian Magpie - an Australian icon. It is a very common bird in Australia, found nearly everywhere and familiar to and beloved by all Australians. It appears on coats of arms, is the mascot for sporting teams. In fact two of the best known Australian Football (AFL) teams whose colours are black and white, are known affectionately as the Australian Magpies, or Maggies.
They are intelligent, cheeky birds which are easily tamed and become very friendly. We have hand reared many orphans and they tend to hang around for a long time after they have been freed into the wild. This is one of a group that visits regularly to get the scraps that Don leaves out. We have had several that lived inside while they were young. One used to sit on the TV and seemed to be watching the screen. I did take a photo of that one, but can't find the old print.
This is a youngster. The older ones are much blacker. Below is an adult magpie in typical pose - looking for grubs etc in the lawn. The southern species have a white back, the Eastern ones are black backed.