Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all! I've been a bit slack posting during December, partly because of all the diversions and partly due to having to chase after problems with our hosting service, which took a lot of time.

Shortly after I last posted, our pied butcherbird Freddy suffered a horrible injury. One morning I went out and he was on the washing line with a huge red pool of blood where his right leg should be. He still looked cheerful though, and he came down to eat quite jauntily. His friend Terry also came and they then disappeared for the rest of the day. Next day, the red had turned dark, and he clearly couldn't use the foot at all. But he and Terry still actively disputed with the intruder butcherbird group (five birds), and over the weeks Freddy has slowly recovered. He now uses his leg a bit and it seems to be improving day by day.

Then last week, the intruder birds suddenly vanished. It seems the entire group found a new home somewhere and have simply packed up and gone elsewhere. Our grey butcherbirds, Larry and Harry, who were also being elbowed aside, have returned to their usual home territory and are much happier.

But Maggie himself seems to be out of sorts. We don't know whether he has some infection (but no eye trouble or sniffles visible, thankfully) or has injured himself and is finding he has to take it easy. So we are just making sure we call him often so he knows he is loved and that his humans care.

Our silly magpie dad, Billy, has an even sillier child this year. Billy, being interested only in food, has been coming into Maggie's territory since Maggie has been under the weather. His child Freda has no sense of propriety or danger, and just walks right up and eats with Maggie's family. When I went out to chase Billy back to his area, Freda just ignored the huge human waving and clapping and went right on feeding at my very feet. A true chip off the ol' block!


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