17. July 2012 10:20
You're such an early riser
You're such a bold chastiser
Always waking up my wife and I
You coyote in the sky
I spoke with my neighbour not too many days ago. She was showing me the work she'd done in her garden, we spent a little time visiting, and the call of a magpie came from the tree overhead.
"Looks like the magpies have moved into the old crow's nest." Naturally she said it with a touch of derision.
I couldn't hold it in any longer. I was puffing out with happiness. I love the magpie.
They're part of the crow family - the Corvids - and that contains all of my favourite birds. I think my favourite of all the birds is the Whiskey Jack or the Grey Jay. To see them is a treat while I am camping in the mountains. The pranksters of birds from the Algonquians.
The magpie is probably my favourite bird I see daily. They are dreadfully intelligent, they are preparatory caching birds and scatter little caches all over the place and can keep track of each and every one of them, including the false caches they lay to fool others. Perhaps one of the most intelligent birds of all. Another trickster. A coyote in the sky.
Unlike crows, the magpie has a melodic, songful call and less the harsh squawking caw of a crow. You'll note even in the description they're called "dasterdly" and "a source of torment".
Nuisance birds, culled and and shooed. Unloved and unwanted by many. When I see it's iridescent colours unfurled underneath the sun, that long tail stretched out to catch a warming ray, the wings outstretched in a curling, graceful feat of manoeuvring flight, then that is when my heart soars with it.
I have to think back to attending the lunchtime series on reggae and was told about the connection between reggae and country music. Wow, can you ever hear a connection in Ian's song here. The syncopated beat, the lilting melody, and the song is pure west.
Woken by the song of magpies. Today is a good day.
You're a pretty bird
You just want to be free
Holy Moses, Magpie
I am you, you are me