SnapShots: The Account of The Magpie and the Little Eagle

All good tales have a protagonist and of course the antagonist.  From Romeo and Juliet to Jane Eyre, or a Hitchcock movie, the ‘player of the first part’, has always to experience the consequences of decisions.

So as our hero the Little Eagle made its way across the paddocks in the sunshine, oblivious of the dangers, it was soon to learn that not all skies are clear, blue and free.


Tis the season of magpies, particularly young first year birds to show their prowess and expertise at keeping their ‘territory’ free from unwanted intrusion.

Magpies on the attack have a particular short high-pitched cry, —ask anyone who rides a pushbike;-) — to announce both their presence and their intention.

And another warning to those of the pushbike brigade, this is happening to a highly mobile bird with plenty of good air.  The magpie’s skill have to be admired, given its much smaller bulk and wing span.

For some reason, I’ve never been able to determine, Little Eagles seem to draw the most attack of all raptors.  Which is strange as generally they don’t comprise much of a threat to other birds because of their usual feeding habits.  Yet time after time, they are mercilessly harassed.
Enter the antagonist. For all good Lord of the Rings readers, think Sauron.

And so settle back and watch the story unfold.

1805-27_DWJ_7259bb.jpgNice sunshine, time for a tour about the neighborhood.

1805-27_DWJ_7269.jpgAre you feelin’ lucky punk, well,  are you?


1805-27_DWJ_7284.jpgTactic number two, seems to be gain height to gain some speed on then drop like a bolt to outrun the slower eagle


1805-27_DWJ_7292.jpgWith what can only be incredible foresight, or the ability to read what direction the Little Eagle would turn, the Magpie out runs the hapless bird.

1805-27_DWJ_7294.jpgAlmost on cue, the Magpie makes a turn at speed, just as the Little Eagle labours into a tight turn to escape.


However for all its bluff, and noise, the magpie cannot sustain the attack and the Little Eagle, which has probably used very little energy during the encounter will sail away across the paddocks, leaving the exhausted magpie in its wake.

Sauron will then drop from the sky to rest up for the next challenge.





11 thoughts on “SnapShots: The Account of The Magpie and the Little Eagle

    1. G,day Derek, glad you enjoyed. I have a couple of other frames where the magpie is literally ‘on’ the eagle, but I can’t say that I saw an actual strike. Although I wouldn’t put it past the magpie at all.

      Sometimes I think the big birds just see it all as part of ‘doing business’ and realise the attacking birds will run out of steam.


  1. What an enthralling sequence of captures David. Maggie’s certainly hold their own against raptors, as do Noisy Miners, I have seen Maggie’s come against several different raptors, this is the reason for their unphased survival. Their tight family structure and commitment is inspiring. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful showcase of shots. Enjoy your week and keep warm 😊


    1. Hi AB, a book by Ian Rowley, The Australian Naturalist Library: Bird Life, has a chapter on the family structure and the support they provide for one another. Its a fascinating subject I find, and one that I particularly look out for when I come across a maggie family.
      They are much more than just your average black and white bird.
      Rowley also has a great chapter on the life and family structure of Superb Fairywrens, and it has helped me understand a lot of what I observe with these feisty little creatures.

      All good to understand how it is so cleverly interlinked.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great series of shots to go with a great story. I enjoy watching the antics that the maggies deploy when defending their territory, unless they are deployed against me.


  3. G’day David, don’t you love those ballets in the sky? Great series with the usual witty and informative story. So many books to write, so little time. I’m already your subscriber.


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