For the last three days I’ve been staying at my parent’s home. It always feels a little weird to be in the house alone. The ghosts are a benign presence, more silent guardians than intrusive interlopers. The traffic roars up the road outside in an incessant rumble (dare I day 24/7…) The sounds of neighbours arguing, loving, living become white noise in the night.
But as the sun rises the magpies start to sing. The bedroom I’m in was my older brother’s when the three of us still lived at home. It’s near the back garden, though I use that term loosely. For years my parents fed the magpies, giving the young ones a helping hand on the road to adulthood. They’ve been rewarded with subsequent generations bringing their offspring for take-aways. The old mango tree with its spreading heavy branches gives shade. The grass gives food. There’re no pesticides, so the grubs are fat and healthy.
I gave them water yesterday in the dry heat of the afternoon. Two families greeted me this morning – three adults and three chicks – and their song soared.
I hope they’re there to greet Mum when she comes out of hospital.
3 thoughts on “Magpie song”
I miss the Maggies in Cairns, Fleur. We have an abundance of birds who come to visit, but the Magpies aren’t amongst them. I can only assume we don’t have enough of their favourite trees…
I had to smile at both you and Sandy having to organise your dogs. My parent’s dog Jessie was a border collie/kelpie cross who rounded up everything except the birds. Of course she always did a quick whip round the yard after the birds had gone to see if there was any mince left!
With any luck they’ll be greeting your mum for many more years to come. We’ve got mostly Butcher birds down this way, their calls aren’t quite the maggie warble, but they have quite a few lovely, clear iambic ditties. Brett put a wooden feeder on a fence pole (out of the dogs way) and occasionally they get a feed of beef or lamb – whatever the dogs are having. We have a bird bath out the back for water as well and we’ve trained KC not to chase the Buthcies and Maggies but she loathes crows so they get a real talking to when she sees them at the water.
Seriously Helene, there is nothing more beautiful than a Magpie’s song. I love them. We had a baby male, coming in around the house, last year, that I fed tit bits to. I had to lock my pup in the house when he was around though, Rocket was insanely jealous, that I would feed ‘his’ meat to a… BIRD!