bird animal interaction

Breaking Through The Communication Barrier With Birds

by Francesca Doria (British Columbia)
In spite of all our New Year’s wishes, 2008 hadn’t begun well for my sister and I. Our Mum was bone-marrow transplanted and had been through a hard time, and our cat Émile, that had shared half of our lives with his endless care and reassuring love, was about to die of kidney failure. He had held out to help our mother and the two of us, but now he was wearing out, silently fading away. At the time our mother’s house had been restored, my sister and I had lived in until the inner works had started, so we had to move to our own flat where our mum already dwelt.
While I was staying with our mother and Émile, my sister Paola got back to the big house to tidy up and put in order everything. She immediately called me, informing that there was a jay she was feeding every day on my window sill and a pair of magpies building their nest on the top of our secular magnolia tree.
At first I was thrilled: I had always loved those elegant, intelligent, funny and noisy birds, and that news had surpassed my wish. But being in anxious state of mind, I nearly forgot both magpies and the friendly jay, until I came back home along with our mum, Émile and our other four cats.
The magpies were still at work: the male brought branches and other items, the female observed/examined them carefully, tried them out, sometimes discharged them, and he flew back and forth trying to find the best things to fit.
magpie nest in tree
The jay was still coming, curiously watching the new incomers. There also was a couple of large hooded crows, that were the undisputed owners of that territory, from a bird’s point of view.
We came back home on 4th March 2008: Émile made a huge effort to visit once again all the rooms of the house; although many things had changed dramatically (my sister’s room had a different entrance, one of the bathrooms had been rebuilt and much more) he recognized his house, blessed it and stood with us quietly and warmly as he had always done.
On 16th March he was put to sleep: until that day the sky had been beautifully crystalline and blue, the sun had shone bright, the moon at night was big and white in a starry sky, the sea was stunningly navy blue and glittering with sun sparkling, there were breathtaking sunsets. But that day the sky grew dark, and heavy drops of rain began to fall. They got heavier and heavier, like a machine gun; although I was dazed with grief, I couldn’t help thinking of the poor birds outside, especially the pair of magpies, whose nest was under that torrential rain. The female sat on her eggs and never moved; the male brought her food.
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Fiona's Peewees Help a Turtle

peeweesFiona loves Peewees and has a favourite Peewee family living in her yard (see slideshow below).  Also called mudlarks, the birds are friendly and get along well with her gorgeous hens (Lucy and Gertrude –Columbian Wyandottes, and Edna - silver-laced Wyandotte), but Fiona was yet to discover how amazing these birds can be.

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7 Tips to Get To Know Your Wild Birds - Part 1

Vicky magpie with visiting rainbow lorikeets  By now you will have a few friends whom you recognise and call by name. The next stage is to get o know more about your birds. 

There are seven main points that you can follow to further develop your relationship with your new wild bird friends.  These are:

1. Make Time For Regular Interaction

2. Learn More About The Species

3. Gain Insight's Into Your Individual Bird Friends

4. Listen for Cues

5. Notice Changes In their Behaviour

6. Keep a Daily Journal

7. Look for Wider Patterns and Stories

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How To Listen To and Observe Birds

  Communicating successfully with someone from a different species, who is not only not dependent on you, but also flies off in a flash if they don't like the sound of your voice, brings its own suite of challenges. In this series, we look at each of the five major aspects of communicating with wild birds.  These involve making them familiar with our speech patterns, listening to learn, understanding our bird's response, building trust, and allowing the friendship to develop.  In the previous issue we covered the importance of making the wild birds feel comfortable in your presence, showing them that you care about their welfare and wish to make friends.  
In this article we look at the art of listening to the birds.  Listening is much more than just enjoying their songs.  True listening requires us to understand the information they are trying to convey in their language to their family, community, intruders and also their friends which now hopefully includes you. 

Click here for the rest of the article.


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My New White-backed Magpie Friends

by Shirley Oelman

I have magpies that visit every now and then and would like to talk about them. 

They first came calling regularly in late July 2009.

 warbling magpies

  17Oct 09, 10:01am  Warbling so beautiful      



At first I ignored them, then, as they seemed so insistent I went out outside to check out the noise.

There were 5 to start with and the numbers dwindled to 2 from November. I threw out onto the ground minced steak, multi grain bread and some varieties of fruit & veg, plus crushed up biscuits. There is always 2 lots of water for them. One of the magpies loved grapes. The other one would not touch them. If I ignored their call one would come up to my front door and call, then stand and wait looking at the door. When I stepped out it (the darker, taller one) ran away a short distance until I called it and dropped food and then it came within 4 foot of me and ate. The light grey one always kept back and never came too close.


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