Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Saturday, 25 October 2014


A family of magpies has been nesting in a large eucalyptus at the top of our cul de sac ever since we've lived here.

They're entirely predictable and we've become accustomed to waking to their warbling as the sun rises. Their presence is familiar and comforting.

Not for the postie, however. He has been getting mugged every time he makes deliveries, and that's currently daily, although we hear that this may change in the future (the frequency of deliveries, that is).

In sequence, we became accustomed to hearing the sound of the postie's scooter, the screeching of the attacking bird, and the barking of our dogs who applauded the whole spectacle. I think they were barracking for the magpie.

I've occasionally gone out to meet the postie to save him the small hassle of shoving the mail in the letter box, only to witness at close quarters the magpie repetitively assailing his helmet whilst completely ignoring me, even though I'm only a few feet away.

This same magpie pays absolutely no attention to us, or anyone else who lives in the street, but has it in for the postie.

Last week, this all changed.

The postie must have made a formal complaint to the Regional Council. I can't say that I blame him. It amazes me that he hasn't come off the scooter during one of these daily attacks. I have sympathy, remembering my encounters as a schoolboy postie delivering mail at Caloundra. The problem back then (apart from steep hills - I had pushbike - not a scooter) was dogs. I don't remember seeing magpies, but I was delivering at Christmas time long after magpie nesting was over.

But I digress.

Last week a van emblazoned "Wildlife Control" appeared. It parked out in front of our place, hazard flashers going, and a recording of magpie song playing loudly through loudspeakers.

Very quickly, two magpies appeared, and they were quickly snagged in a net and caged. I wandered out to the sight of two very disgruntled looking magpies in the cages being put in the back of the van. The operator told me they were two males, and they were the ones who were taking turns to mug the postie.

They were to be "relocated".

I wasn't sure how he could tell that they were the culprits, but we haven't seen the postie mugged since.

We still hear the early morning clarion, however, so there must be other Cracticus Tibicen about. The wildlife control man said that his recordings attract the dominant males.



Anonymous said...

A few cable ties fastened to the helmet of a cyclist works but the helmet required by posty doesn't give anywhere to attach them. A couple of eyes painted on the back of a helmet is rumoured to work as well. I can vouch for the cable ties.

cav said...

Good result all round it seems.

I too was a postie during school holidays at Cootamundra


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