pictured // the magpie’s way of building a home # 1

magpie1         magpie2

magpie3         magpie4

I have this huge chestnut tree in my backyard, that I dearly love, ’cause it looks so nice in every season (not only in summer when it’s filled with green leaves) and also because it’s the full-time home or holiday cottage for so many animals, especially birds! I have seen pigeons, sparrows, woodpeckers, blackbirds, crows. And magpies. And since I am living on the third floor and very close to the treetop, I was able to study a couple of magpies building their nest. They felt unobserved and pretty comfortable with me taking pictures, so I got around to shoot about 200 pics during four weeks of spring last year.

So, on every Wednesday during March I am going to share the pictures that document the hard work these beautiful birds had in combination with a few words about what was happening during the shoot and some facts about magpies as well.


what happened? 

There is this saying, every beginning is difficult. Well, that was also the fact for this couple of magpies in the middle of February, when they chose this really windy spot of this tree for their nest that ice storms destroyed a couple of times. But they came back every afternoon looking at their construction. With a few adjustments, they rebuild it and added a few more twigs. Most of the time, the male bird was flying around to get the material and the female bird used to put everything together. For me, it felt similar to pictures I have seen from building the Empire State Building. The birds were balancing huge branches in their beaks that kept crossing and hitting the ones of the tree. I saw branches fallen to the ground so many times, followed by a surprised look after by the one who lost it. But they were very ambitious and continued building this home.


magpie fact #1

Magpies build up to ten nests every year and choose where they settle after finishing each one. (Imagine yourself building ten houses during four weeks!)


PS: I never would consider myself an ornithologist (even though this is my second post about bird watching within four weeks), but somehow I have a thing for birds that probably results from the cute budgie I had in my childhood. ;-)

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