In reply to JudiM:
A phenomenal undertaking there Maisie and so very well done - do you still have your azure-winged Magpies?? If so, would you post a pic for me please!
2013 photos & vids here
eff37 on Flickr
In reply to WendyBartter:
As it happens I was stalking the Wings round their aviary this morning with my camera. I'm trying to convince the new male, (Mr Beeples... who one day may get a more dignified name!) who seems convinced that the camera will steal his soul, to let me get a decent photo of him. He's at the back, WhistlyGirl is at the front.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.
In reply to Maisie:
Maisie, they're beautiful! How long have you had them and how did you come to have them?
Our herring gulls are red listed birds. Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.
In reply to Clare:
We've had them since December 2009 - at least we've had WhistlyGirl that long. We got her from Chester Zoo. We'd sponsored her after getting to know her at the zoo (She's hand-reared and would fly to the aviary mesh to interact). The aviary she was in was demolished to make way for new developments and as she had been separated from the other azures at the zoo (For fighting. Bad girl!) we asked the zoo's bird team, who we know quite well, if we could adopt her. They said yes, providing we had the support of a good avian vet and could build a decent-sized aviary. Oh, and we had to take her husband/father (not sure which) who was 10 years old at the time. So we did. Agent Wing (on a mission to rid the world of mealworms, one dish at a time..) broke his leg 2 days after we got them, presumably because due to having a cataract he'd mis-landed somewhere. Thankfully our excellent vet pinned the femur and he made a good recovery although he lost some toes due to lack of circulation. He lived with us another 2 years until December last year when old age finally got him at the ripe old age of 12. We still miss his resilient, independent grumpy old man nature, bless him. WhistlyGirl was lonely without someone to hen-peck and feed waxworms to, so we got Mr Beeples earlier this year. They got on OK at first, once he'd got over the shock of being force-fed waxworms by his own personal stalker, but now she bullies him. I hope come spring the hormones will kick in and she might be a bit nicer to him again!
What a lovely story. Are you hoping they'll have young?
2 azures are enough really! But if they do have young, that would be nice :)
Did Mr Beeples also come from a zoo? I must confess I would have no idea what to name a magpie, but Mr Beeples seems quite a weird name!
Mr Beeples came from a chap near Bristol but may have originally been Bristol Zoo. The only noise he's made to us so far has been "Beep" (usually followed by WhistlyGirl chasing him for daring to talk to her humans), hence the name.
She sounds like a real character!
Maisie - thank you so much for posting the pic & telling the story - they sound so enchanting! Is WhistlyGirl the same one featured on the YouTube video I watched earlier this evening???
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654