30 Days Wild – Day Twenty

Saturday 20th June:

I mentioned yesterday that I saw some magpies in my courtyard fighting off the pigeons for some seed. I adore magpies! They are ruthless, intelligent and beautiful. I always think they look like a tropical bird with their shining purple, green and blue feathers. I think that British wildlife is sometimes thought of as a bit dull compared to the rainbow of animals in rainforests around the world but actually our own little creatures can be perfectly colourful and exciting aswell. Think of kingfishers, goldfinches and the common pheasant!

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Anyway, magpies fascinate me. The way they have become a part of our society – with a reputation of thievery and superstition. I love how every time I come on to campus they are often the first bird I see, hopping about in quite an ungainly way for such a regal looking bird. I love to hear them cackling to each other and I’m always reminded of my grandmother (in the nicest possible way). It’s her birthday today! She’s a bit of a witchy old lady; quite superstitious and  she always makes a point of saying…

Hello Magpie, how’s your wife?

I think it’s rubbed off on me a little bit because whenever I see them I silently go through the old nursery rhyme in my head and wonder what it could mean.

One for sorrow,

Two for joy,

Three for a girl,

Four for a boy,

Five for silver,

Six for gold,

Seven for a secret never to be told.

Today on my way in to work I spotted this poor little darling who has lost his fabulous long tail! He was unable to fly but I was unable to catch him so I hope he survives long enough to regrow his feathers.

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30 Days Wild has inspired me to find out a bit more about the magpie. I’ve read articles that say magpies aren’t actually attracted to shiny objects (as folklore would have you believe), and I’ve heard that they can be taught words and trained like parrots. I’m definitely going to do a bit more research. I started with learning their latin name… Pica pica! Not hard to remember and it seems quite apt – a sharp pointy word for a sharp looking bird 🙂

All images subject to copywrite. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the view of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust for whom I volunteer, or any other organisation.

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