Australian Magpie

Gymnorhina Tibicen


Image by Alex Wilson


The Magpie is black  with a white collar around their neck, white on their inner wings and tail. In southern New South Wales there is the variation of white right down their back. It grows to between 36 to 44 centimetres long and is found in a variety of places ranging from open timbered areas to suburban gardens.

Breeding takes place from June till December. The eggs take about 21days to hatch, and the young will spend about 4 weeks in the nest before they leave. The nest is the most dangerous place for a juvenile bird as predators can easily find them, so the parent birds will encourage the young to leave as soon as possible. They will leave the nest before being able to fly; they will flutter from bush to bush being fed by the parents. You will usually hear them being very noisy at this particular time of the year, as they beg for food from exhausted parents. During the breeding season some Magpies become aggressive towards humans whom venture too close to their nest sites, giving them a bit of space will often solve the problem.

Magpies are great visitors to your garden, as they eat a variety of destructive insects, so please remember if you spray for these insects, you may also poison your natural pest control being birds like Magpies that will over a period of time, do the job for you.
Do not be tempted to feed wild birds, the natural balance is easily upset, instead place a bird bath in your garden, and remember to change the water regularly to minimise the chance if decease.





In springtime Magpies are known for swooping at people, in fact, anything that moves close to their nest. They are protecting their eggs or young from intruders, this usually only occur after they have had a bad experience,and they will forever more perceive anyone and anything as an intruder.

The simplest way to solve this would be to avoid the area for a short time whilst they are nesting. If this is not possible, you could walk on the other side of the road, wear a hat or have an open umbrella above your head. ( This is not for hitting the bird, but for you're protection)

When we realise why these birds react like this, we may have a better understanding and tolerance, would we be any different in similar circumstances?

Relocation is not an option, the young in the nest would no longer have the parent bird to feed and protect them, you would also not really solve the problem as another Magpies would move in to the territory almost immediately, and you could start the whole process over again.

Magpies are territorial and a relocated bird have very little chance of survival out of its home territory.




©Wildlife Mountain 2000 - 2017


We would also like to acknowledge the amazing support and help we have had from the Lismore Vet Clinic who have been an invaluable support to both us and the native wildlife of this region.

All native birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles are proteced under the Wildlife Act 1975, they may not be captured or harmed in any way without an authority issued under the Wildlife Act.