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Swooped by Magpie!

By Andy Donnelly.

In my role as the Director of Science Partnerships with Earthwatch, I often find myself in front of an audience speaking about our ClimateWatch program. One of the great things I say about it is that you can collect data anywhere, anytime: on a bush walk, in your backyard, even on your way to work. I hope I sound convincing but to be honest, I for one have never collected a record on my way to work.

That changed last week when on Monday the 23rd August I was just approaching the office when I was swooped on by our local magpie. This must be some form of rite of passage, as a POM there’s a part of me that always thought my Aussie mates were winding me up with tales of these kamikaze avians that were a dive bombing menace to the public. I’m thoroughly convinced by them now, however, as my particular magpie was pretty persistent and had me in a crouched run for the door.  I entered the record as soon as I was in a safe spot in front of the computer as magpie swooping is one of the behaviours our scientists have identified as a phenological phase for this critter. It means I can feel that little more sincere when I’m next in front of an audience and that I’m just a little bit more Aussie now too!

Australian Magpie by Peter Houghton

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