Not the little black and white bowling balls they have in the northern hemisphere.
Big bad-ass buggers the size of a bald eagle that terrorise neighbourhoods in the southern climes.
Birds that cause fear amongst cyclists and walkers.
Birds that cause people to wear ludicrous head dress to avoid having their skull opened by a well placed peck.
Spring must be here.
Or perhaps not.
In any case the family that took residence near our house some three years ago have begun to develop some skills.
They're not afraid of us, nor are they concerned.
They do, however, give us evil annoyed stares whenever we go out in OUR BACK YARD.
"It's not your backyard!"I scream at them to the concern of our neighbours.
I'm sure they fear for my sanity.
The neighbours that is. Not the magpies. They haven't developed that skill yet.
Oh. I forgot.
What skill have they developed that is so frickin' annoying that I would write about it?
They roll berries.
I need to explain that statement for fear of being committed.
The magpie family has increased.
Started out with just a couple.
Then they had kids.
Which had kids.
And now the little b*stards have invaded our serene spot of sane with their incessant chortling and malevolent stares.
They sit on the fence not five feet from me with a look of disdain and what can only be described anthropomorphically as hatred.
Admittedly the disdain may be because of the glass of bourbon or my ranting at them semi incoherently.
In any case they have discovered a bush. Or tree. Whatever. It has berries. Big red ones. BIG berries.
And they have started taking them onto our roof.
They can't always get them swallowed in one piece so they need a stable surface that allows them to catch them if they fall.
Which they do.
So they chose our roof.
Which allows them to muck about with the berries with the knowledge that if they miss, they just roll down the roof into the gutter.
From which it is easy to get them back.
They fail to conceive of the sheer bloody irritating nature of such a startling smart initiative on their part.
Just try to read a book, have a snooze, watch a show when it is intermittently punctuated with:
"Bonk. Bonk. Bonk. Bump. Chortle. Whee-whip"Or however the hell you reproduce their chortle in English.
On your roof.
I have to say that I love the annoying little buggers, love the fact that they have shown their intelligence and love their pure beautiful skill at swooping which defies the most modern air force fighter.