Battle Royale in the Badlands

So the other day, I woke up to a lot of racket on the front porch.  When I went out there, I found a little baby magpie sitting on one of the bikes.   I went to grab my camera and ended up snapping a few pictures before the parents came back.  They made more noise than the baby and didn’t like me that close.

A few days later [June 24th, I believe], the morning started the same way, with tons of noise on the porch.  This time, though, when I opened the door, I found not only the parent magpies, but a large bullsnake, a rabbit, a robin, a kingbird, and two bluebirds.  They were all taking turns beating on the poor snake.  The snake was eventually chased around the building and under the shed, where he stayed until evening, and then left.

He’s not too happy and the bikes didn’t offer much cover from the pecking magpies and biting rabbits and swooping robins and chirping bluebirds.

He just struck at the magpie.

Magpies are very brazen birds.

They would peck the ground, puff up, and squak.  I’m not sure how much the snake could see of this performance, but it was entertaining.

It was like they could hear him move!  Everytime he started to crawl away, they would come back and start the whole process again.

I think he would have liked the door open…

The magpies had six chicks to begin with, but they lost two, maybe to west nile.  One other we haven’t seen for days amd he couldn’t fly like his siblings.  If you think about it, six is quite a few, so maybe nature made a few extras.  They are all pretty loud and rascally and seem pretty healthy for now.

I have found a couple owls out and about, but I haven’t been able to get a good shot nor ID them.

Here is a great picture to illustrate the sweet clover problem.  This was taken last week and the flowers have begun to fade.

I’ve got more pictures to upload, so another posting is due.  I can’t keep up!

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