Apr 7, 2007

News from the neighborhood

On March 25, the magpies had made the floor of their nest.

By April 6, they had a roof. It's slow going (or so it seems), but considering that trees are not yet budding, and I woke up to a snowshower this morning, the birds seem to be right on time.

A couple of mornings ago the magpies were making quite the fuss, loudly screeching their characteristic "cat-alert" (which is a bit like a machine-gun firing). I looked out and saw no cat. I looked up at the birds and their nest, and for a brief moment, saw a white, furry face poke out between the twigs of the nest. The cat was well-hidden within the nest so no point in taking a photo. Eventually, the cat left (I missed when and how), and the magpies resumed building in peace. (Cats in magpie nests is not a good thing; one neighbor's cat (Buster's mom, actually) got caught in one and in her struggle to free herself, injured herself. Humans trying to pry her loose, ended up having to cut the nest apart, twig by twig. It was like trying to go through rock, I was told.)

In other news: I found out today that my local grocery store, a mere 75 meters (246 feet) from my door to theirs, is closing in a week. Their lease is up and they aren't earning enough to stay. I'm going to miss them.

4 comments:

Webmiztris said...

lol, that's one hell of a nest. maybe the magpies turned the cat into part of the nest... ;)

Keera Ann Fox said...

Cat fur certainly would make a lovely lining!

Badaunt said...

What, no wire hangers? :-)

But what a lovely big, messy nest. It looks a bit like the hippie crow's nest I posted last week. I don't think the crows would tolerate a cat in their nest, though. They're already watching me quite closely, and they don't hesitate to attack humans (so I'm being careful not to provoke them). A cat wouldn't have a chance.

Keera Ann Fox said...

Crows are known for their messy nests. (The coatwires impress me, though!) Magpies seem to be particular about using only one kind of building material, but I know that people have found money, jewelry and other shiny, small objects in magpie nests.

Once their eggs are hatched, I'm sure no magpie will leave any cat climbing their tree unharmed. But it's an interesting "dance": Getting close enough to intimidate, but not so close as to become a meal.