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Maude Landcare Group

The August meeting of the group was our AGM. Office bearers remained mainly the same (Group contacts appear at the rear of this Newsletter), apart from Robert Lynch becoming our new Vice President.

Also, Bruce Harper stepped down as our rep on the Geelong Landcare Network to be replaced by Secretary Gill Gartlan. Big thanks to Bruce for the great contribution he has made to the Network on our behalf over several years.

The next group activity is a working bee at the Spiller’s Bridge site on Saturday September 9th from 8:30am. Please bring equipment suitable for weeding and mowing/brush cutting.

I love magpies.
At present they are making their presence known as they defend their nests from threats of all sorts - from birds of prey to humans.

This week there was a long and interesting discussion on ABC radio regarding the humble magpie. The hosts of the show remarked that there was not one claim of injury from the many cases of swooping reported. They are only defending their home and children, although it can be a bit scary. The use of a leafy branch over your head should be all you need to send off the attacks.

One day this week I heard a panicked squawking in the tall trees near the house. Inspection revealed a number of magpies sending off a lone eagle. One crow was also in attendance, but its contribution was pretty poor and it soon left. Not so the magpies! They attacked with enthusiasm. I could hear the snapping of beaks as they drove the eagle away! Round 1 to the magpies.

I love eagles too. They are majestic and very clever. How lucky we are to have both of these wonderful birds in our area.

Some years ago we had some rather agressive mapies at our home. After some research we discovered that not only were the adults protecting their young, they were also protecting their territory and food supply. We decided to start leaving out some meat bits for them each day, and then on a more occasional basis. The agression ceased as they eagerly feasted on the morsels we left out.

Now as we come and go the magpie family look expectantly for a treat and if not forthcoming go back to finding worms in our lawn. We are careful not to make them dependent on us for food but just keep up the treats on an occasional basis.

Whilst this is not a solution to the swooping one encounters when out and about, at least when at home we have a friendly family of magpies that give us much pleasure as they spend their days feeding and rasing their young.