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The Fearsome Flute Player

magpiebookcoverSeen a magpie today? Or have you heard their tuneful song? If you live in Australia it's virtually impossible for you to go a day without encountering these amazing birds.

We delight in their song, respect their stature, laugh at their comical antics, care for them and await their next visit. Some of us feed them and have a close bond with a local magpie family. But in nesting season some magpies defend their youngsters by swooping pedestrians, cyclists and posties. They don't all swoop and we don't all get swooped, but people with magpie troubles have devised some fanciful creations to thwart the local swooper, like eyes on umbrellas and zip-ties on helmets!


The fearsome flute players: Australian magpies in our lives - examines magpie society and our relationships with these intriguing birds. Read about their songs and mimicry, their territories and social hierarchies, how they parent and how they play. Our insights come from South Australians through Operation Magpie, a Citizen Science project that received close to 2,000 responses. The book includes many personal anecdotes and revelations that convey how we experience and connect with this iconic Australian bird. It is the second book in the Citizen Science series, following 'The possum-tail tree'.


The project and book were undertaken by researchers at the Barabra Hardy Centre, at the University of South Australia, inconjunction with 891ABC local radio.

Authors: Philip Roetman and Christopher Daniels 

Cartoons: Ross Bateup

Foreword: Matthew Abraham and David Bevan  

Publisher: Crawford House Publishing  

Pages: 144

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