A dangerous hobby

The arrival of this Australian Hobby Falco longipennis certainly caused a stir amongst the local magpies along Cemetery Road last weekend.


Australian Hobby under attack from Australian Magpies, Cemetery Road Newstead, 23rd November 2014.

At one point the hobby grew tired of the repeated dive-bombing attack and took off in a circuit over my head … only to land back in the same spot. The magpies then resumed their harassment.


Australian Hobby in silhouette.


Magpies are not renowned for teamwork … usually!


The hobby needed eyes in the back of its head.

5 responses to “A dangerous hobby

  1. Great photos as usual. Good to see magpies getting a staring role. I watch my local family and write a blog.
    My observations show me that teamwork is absolutely at the centre of magpie life. It enables them to maintain family pecking order and hence territory. A number of times I have seen them harassing a predator and even the young fledglings join in and know their role. The dominant birds fly up front on each side of the hawk or eagle and when it rolls the one on the blind side will attack.
    Love your blog . Keep up the good work.

    • Hi David – I just cant let the football thing go! You are right, magpies of the bird variety are great team players.
      All the best, geoff

  2. The birds or the footballers or both… Cheers

  3. Put a Cat among the magpies and they just fall apart. Hawks seem to be better organised.

  4. Can’t let Bruce’s comment pass unanswered. One of my most delightful experiences cat/Magpie-wise happened when a young cat we had adopted decided to stalk our alpha female Magpie at the time. She looked calmly at him, called up the troops, and three came zooming in from over the paddock opposite, bombed him and bombed him until he was cowed and ran, belly to the ground under the house, and was scared stiff of the Magpies for the rest of his life! Our cats, when they are out, and that is only for a short period each day to clam territory to keep other cats off, always wear gold-coloured tinsel on their collar when they are out of their run, as I found years ago that it is very effective at startling birds, and even small lizards, and stopping the cat from catching them. You sacrifice a few collars and tinsel to start with as the cat realises what the problem is, but I’ve found that they become resigned in the end – but you can’t stop being vigilant. Cats are not so much the problem as irresponsible owners. Cats are just animals with a natural instinct to survive, the same as any animal, predator or prey.

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