Magpie Cottage Sign

ALONG THE ROAD the magpies walk with hands in pockets, left and right. They tilt their heads, and stroll and talk. In their well-fitted black and white they look like certain gentlemen who seem most nonchalant and wise until their meal is served – and then what clashing beaks, what greedy eyes! But not one man that I have heard throws back his head in such a song of grace and praise – no man nor bird. Their greed is brief; their joy is long. For each is born with such a throat as thanks his God with every note. Judith Wright

THE magpie is an Australian icon. Named by a European for its resemblance to the British magpie, the two are actually not related. The Australian magpie is a passerine, native to Australia and southern New Guinea, closely related to the butcherbird. It is arguably one of Australia’s most accomplished songbirds, with an amazing array of calls and songs, which have given rise over the years to many nicknames such as piping crow-shrike, flute bird, piping roller and organ bird. Its well-known melodious warbling call (in which the pitch can vary over four octaves) has been featured in poetry and stories such as the children’s book ‘Waddle Giggle Gargle’ by Pamela Allen, in which it is described as ‘quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle’. Magpies are also able to imitate other birds and even human voices.

They are fascinating to study - with their cooperative breeding, in which helper birds will pitch in to assist in feeding and raising the young and their communal lifestyle. But beware in the spring, when aggressive males are well known for their aggressive behaviour at nesting time, when they will swoop and sometimes attack, especially bikers.

The cocky magpie on this attractive house sign was hand sculpted and painted, with hand carved and gilded text.

Carved & Gilded
Sculpted & Painted Add on
Sign Size
12 " x 24 "