This morning started in quite an odd, but interesting, manner. The oddity began when I went out the front door to drive to work. On the fence between the front and the back yards, there were several magpies. They were looking over the fence and squawking like they were upset over something. So, I figured I’d walk over and look.
This was the odd part. Magpies are members of the jay family, which includes crows and ravens. And, if you’ve ever had any experience with magpies, you’ll know they are incredibly wary of people. Try to walk up to a magpie and see how quickly they disappear. This time, though, they didn’t. I was about two feet from the nearest one sitting on the fence.
Near the base of the fence, lying on the ground, was a dead magpie. The other magpies seemed far more interested in the dead one than me. They perched on the fence and squawked. Bagging up the dead magpie and putting it in the garbage container at that point didn’t seem appropriate, so for some reason I muttered, “Excuse me,” walked back to the truck and drove to work.
When I came home, I dealt with the dead magpie. There was not a mark on the magpie so it wasn’t a predator of some sort that killed it. I don’t know what happened to it. It didn’t seem old.
The odd part is that, this morning, I felt like I had attended a funeral. Since they didn’t fly off like they normally would, I felt like I was invited. I don’t know if this is common behaviour with magpies, but if funeral ceremonies are good enough for people, they should be good enough for them, too…