The magpie is probably the most recognized, and least liked, native bird in the American West. As a child, the first thing I learned about them was that they eat eggs and baby birds from other birds' nests. I have heard stories of them attacking the eyes of living wildlife and livestock.
|This is an Australian magpie. All of their animals are deadly. Beware koalas.|
Yes, a group of magpies is called a murder. But there are also other terms: tiding, gulp, charm, and parliament. I prefer murder.
|In the Ukraine, but it could be anywhere in politics.|
But tiding may be the best term for my magpie experience this week. Watching a group of magpies "murder" the contents of my bird feeder yesterday, made me think of an omen-filled poem by Robert Frost.
|Magpies are in the same family as crows.|
Dust of Snow