Michael Wardle and the magpie
Michael Wardle and the magpie "Bob" have been friends for six years. Contributed

Magpie makes good company for this Laidley man

SWOOPING season has set in and making a mad dash to the car to avoid the wrath of the magpie is just part of many morning routines.

But for this Laidley man, the story is different.

Michael Wardle, founder of Savour Soil Permaculture, hasn't been swooped in years and lives in harmony with local magpie "Bob”.

A friendship between the two began when Michael started whistling and talking to Bob while drinking his morning coffee.

"They (magpies) are very social and like a good conversation like everyone else,” Michael said. "A small bit of cheese from time to time helps, too.”

The friendship developed over six years, with Bob regularly jumping onto the table during morning coffee and even social gatherings.

Once, Bob jumped onto Michael's knee - now nothing unusual.

The magpie even lets himself into Michael's house in the mornings.

"Personally, I think he is being opportunistic... It's always after the kids make breakfast,” Michael said.

Not only does the magpie provide fantastic company but it also keeps the crows away.

"Bob has helped keep crows out of the chook pen when they were after the eggs,” Michael said.

"The crows tried to get in but were swooped; magpies are very territorial.”

At the family's previous home, Michael had been befriending another magpie when the boy who lived in the property behind began throwing rocks.

Michael said the magpie became suspicious of all humans for almost a year.

And the secret to not being swooped? It's as simple as avoiding nesting areas during breeding season. "Understand where they nest and avoid it - they only attack as they themselves were once chased by someone.”



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