Magpie Fledgling

While walking Max the other evening, I had a chance to watch three magpie fledglings hang out on a big tree branch, with Mr. and Mrs. squawking enthusiastically in a neighbouring tree.  Today, I happened by one of the three and watched the poor guy thump into the sides of houses, grasp desperately at a down spout, waddle, in a daze, across a busy street and finally come to rest on a doorstep, seeming to ask if he might enter for a refreshment.  Mr. and Mrs. dive-bombed over and over again, encouraging the poor guy to get some altitude before the feral cats happened upon this lost pup and tried to send this amateur photographer to vamoose!

I followed the little guy (notice the length of its tail feathers) while it bopped from a door step to a bike, into a potted floral arrangement and then, finally, into a tree.


Mr. and Mrs. yapped loudly from the tree…the best they can do for flying lessons.

P1170116 P1170117 P1170118 P1170119


P1170124 P1170125 P1170127 P1170129Mom and Dad became far less dramatic and there was a communal sigh of relief as the fledgling made it into the lower branches of a tree.

I know.  Many of you think that magpies are a pain in the butt.  They are, after all, cruel and greedy and very tricky.  I enjoyed reading this description of the symbolic meanings of the magpie.

Since my first years of making my nest on the University of Lethbridge campus and living in residence edging on the coulees, I’ve developed a love for the magpies.  Perched in the dry towering trees along the Oldman River, their brilliant plumage was dazzling blue in the sunshine.  They were always companions on long walks in and out of town.  They are, in some way, a part of who I’ve become.


My Retirement Series painted by my dear friend, Bob Melville. One painting for each of the last ten months of my career.

I will photograph other pieces in my magpie collection and get them posted here.

There are other people as obsessed with watching birds as I am!  Look at this footage!

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