Saturday, August 27, 2022

Move over, Snow White

No photos of the actual event, so use your imagination.

I went out to water the strawberries yesterday evening. We have two startup strawberry beds enclosed by horse panels reinforced with deer fencing.

For such start-up plants, they're doing very well and I'm regularly picking fat ripe berries.

A couple evenings ago, I was picking strawberries when I heard a small "thump" right nearby. It was a young magpie who landed on the fence surrounding the berry beds. The cheeky bird was no more than a few feet away from me, making the odd squeaky calls of the juveniles.

"Oh no you don't," I told him. "These are my strawberries."

The magpie was completely unperturbed by my proximity. I continued picking strawberries and got closer and closer to it. It just sat there and squeaked at me. When I was no more than two feet away, I straightened up and we were nearly eye to eye. He continued to just sit there and squeak at me.

So I leaned down and picked a past-prime leathery strawberry. Then I reached over and literally put it in the magpie's beak. He very gently took the berry, paused for a moment, then flapped over to the top of the woodpile, where he spent about five minutes chuckling over it and eating it.

Move over, Snow White.


  1. i had a cardinal nest in my rasberry patch. first year, it was a fight every time i picked berries. momma would be in my face until i had swatted her a few times. second year, she would go sit on the fence and scold me. third year, she pretty much ignored me unless i was picking right next to the nest. then she would peck my hand. after year three, i guess she found a better nesting place. they eventually let you invade their territory, i guess.

  2. The magpies up in Kodiak, AK are really assertive. The Aleut indians believe that the birds are reincarnated ancestors, so they're protected... and they know it! They had a habit of picking Cockles... large clams with HARD shells... out of the mud at low tide. They would then fly up and drop them onto the pavement to break them open. If your car was there, the oh well...

  3. Such a funny and cute story, Patrice. What a blessing to have front row seating to the critter show. We have learned that hummingbirds can very mean to each other in the attempt to guard their territory (i.e. bird feeders we have out). One was so vicious we named him (?her), Vlad, the Impaler!

  4. What a fun experience!

  5. Great story! Love nature, and when we slow down and listen to it…it loves us back!

  6. Yeah... but can you sing?

  7. How fun, I just adore these types of rare and special interactions. KinCA