Posted Oct 05, 2013
Here's a review of an unusual pet. Most people would not keep a Magpie as a pet because they are wild birds. It might not even be legal to keep one as a pet in Australia today - I don't know. It's a native bird, black and white in color and they are found in abundance all over Australia.
Max landed at my neighbors home one day and it seemed he didn't want to leave. So my neighbor began feeding him with eggs and commercial dog food. Not knowing what to do with this bird we somehow ended up taking it in. I was only a young child at the time.
It was quite a funny sight. We had a dog, a cat and a magpie and they would all sit with us on the front porch in the late afternoons. Imagine, a bird and a cat calmly sitting next to each other.
Max seemed to enjoy our company. He would do a few tricks like rolling golf balls and picking up small twigs and dropping them on us.
Every evening just before dusk Max would fly in from far away. He would spend the evening with us in the garden and sometimes fly to the local park when we took the dog for a walk. When the dog and cat had their dinner, Max would also have some meat and he loved a boiled egg. At night he would sleep in a small basket that we placed on top of the washing machine. He was quite content in the laundry which seems very odd for a native bird.
Each morning Max would wake up and we let him outside. He would occasionally come back inside and sit around the table on the top of a chair and watch us eat breakfast. Max would also have some breakfast and then he would hang around with us for a while. Sometimes he would walk around in the garden and pick up worms or bugs? Other times he would sit up in the trees and occasionally come and swoop down at us. This was his game and he did it to us all, even the dog and cat. He never hurt us though, he was just playing.
Eventually, after his little morning ritual and game, Max would circle over us a little while and then fly out of sight. We never really knew if we would see him again, but each evening he would come back. Well, for about two years he kept coming back and then one night he never returned. We waited and waited but there was no Max. We kept waiting for days and weeks, but Max just didn't return.
We don't know what happened to our friend Max. Did he have a mishap, did he find a special lady magpie or did he just die? We missed him terribly and not knowing what happened or why he didn't come back anymore is the most difficult. That was almost 40 years ago and I still haven't stopped thinking about Max or wondering what happened.
Magpies are sometimes thought of as pests in Australia because there are so many of them. They can cause a lot of destruction to crops and they are also very noisy birds. During the spring months while it's their breeding season they can also be very fierce and they have often attacked small animals and children if they come too close to their nesting areas. The magpies will swoop and they attack people's eyes and many children have been blinded from magpie attacks.
I think it was just very strange that we happened to have a magpie for a pet. I don't think I would recommend a magpie for a pet but we had fun with Max while he was with us. Max just wasn't your normal magpie.
A couple of years ago I saw something very strange that I had never seen before. At first it appeared that two magpies were fighting over territory. Then all of a sudden one just dropped down to the ground and lay completely still on its back. It looked as if it was dead, but it wasn't. The other bird came and stood next to it. The bird on the ground continued to lay still like that for several minutes.
I have a photo but it might not be too good. Also, got one of a magpie so you can all see what they look like.