Continuing the Magpie saga...
Ernie, you may be interested to hear is out of the picture. A somewhat larger, bolder, probably older and otherwise more alpha-ish bird named 'Fred' has replaced him. One morning, no Ernie, but Fred. Bertha, what a flighty lady you are.
Also, yesterday morning—finally!—on the tree outside our kitchen window, two small Magpies; still somewhat wobbly on their feet and definitely uncertain on their wings. My wife and I felt like they were our babies as much as Bertha's. After all, they had consumed, during the last 2-3 weeks, several pounds of cheap beef mince!
The whole issue of what Fred thought he'd get out of biffing Ernie out of the picture—especially since the kids Fred did help, a little, to feed, were not his!—is beyond me. Magpies appear to have an interesting love life. Fred, by the way, is the Magpie that's been hanging around for months in the field next door. No mate, I guess, but the guy had his beady, brown, predatorial eyes on Bertha all the time.
Fred is also far more forward than Ernie, who was a wooz and a pansy, except at those moments when he needed to rise to the occasion and defend the nest and the mate. Little good it did him in the end, when Fred came along. Fred, after a mere few days—though not quite with the familiarity displayed by Bertha—started taking the nibbles out of my hand.
These birds, by and large, have more character and are more interesting from a 'personality' point of view that the politicians running this country—which currently are headed by a Prime Minister, who is a control freak who likes to use big words and spends enough money traveling around the world to build two much-needed extra hospitals, but who allowed himself to be spooked into some really, really stupid actions—regarding how to handle the current influx of boat-refugees—by an opposition leader who couldn't tell his ass from his face.
What a pathetic circus...