The baby Magpie is starting to assert itself.
I have taken to allowing it to perch on a long cut branch, which I rest across the corner of my deck railing. This gives the bird the chance to watch other Magpies outside. Also I am a believer in the benefits of sunshine and fresh air. It also keeps the bird up and out of the way from Lena (the Schnauzer), who still thinks this is a new toy I have got for her to play with (or at least look at).
I figure that putting the baby Magpie outside, for a few hours at a time might give it a chance to hear other Magpies calling. The local Maggies have seen this little guy, but have not come in close to have a look. Incidentally, I sometimes play Magpie calls for it to "learn". Two recordings are available - that I know of. One is on the ABC Website. The Magpie call is filed under the letter "M". You need to have Real Player installed for the call to be played. An easier file to play is the MP3 file on the Birds in Backyards site from the Australian Museum in Sydney. Once you have downloaded these files, it is possible to play them on "continuous" mode - until I get sick of it!About every two hours, the chick decides it needs a good feed. It has taken to squawking at me, when it is in this mood. Indeed it is now doing a classic begging act - wings half-spread, and quivering (too fast for the low-light settings on the camera). That was deliberate on my part, to portray the sense of movement. The beak is open, making the begging noise we all are familiar with.Whenever the chick is inside, it now sits on a branch over a box (all the better to catch its droppings which no longer have their mucous sac).
When the bird is sleeping solidly, it tucks its head around, and over its "shoulder". The head appears to disappear. In fact it is hidden under the soft feathers on its scapular.
Here it is with the head out, but otherwise unmoved from the image above.
Incidentally, after some time of just calling it "Maggie", I have decided to christen it "Nathan", after the new Premier of NSW, Nathan Rees, who seems to see everything in black and white, and is just testing his wings, but has not yet learned to fly! Besides, my Nathan is leaving quite a lot of mess behind, which I have to clean up.
The name seems appropriate.