This morning a raven, or very large crow, visited my neighbour – the magpie nest. It was accompanied by an entourage of one or two smaller crows. A dozen magpies gathered to drive it away, although their efforts seemed to be ineffectual. The raven was not intimidated and settled at the side of the nest. Magpie nests are hooded, which must make them easier to defend – buying the defenders some time to drive the intruder away. The raven wasn’t deterred, and moving aside a branch from the top of the nest, plunged its beak into the nest several times.
After the raven flew away, mama magpie checked the nest, then gently shooed the magpie warriors away from her nest. The pair hung around the nest afterward, occasionally flying to it to peer inside.
A couple of hours later the raven returned. Instantly nearly 20 magpies materialized from nearby trees to defend the nest. The raven landed at the nest, then soon retreated this time… perhaps finding no treasure left.
Magpies will do a ‘take two’ if the first clutch fails. These two haven’t abandoned this nest – they’ve continued to busily tend to it throughout the day.