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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

Australian Magpie

Australian Magpie (Image ID 45697)
Photographed byJim Schultz on Sun 4th Oct, 2020 and uploaded on Tue 13th Apr, 2021 .
Resolution1401x1090
Viewed200
ID45697
CommentImage Specific/Author’s Notes (04.13.21BiL_BOZ1743): I was watching an osprey’s nest, when a pair of Australian Magpies flew in with the same purpose. For a brief while, they sat quietly staring towards the osprey nest, and though I could see or hear nothing myself, I guessed that an osprey was on the way in with a fish in its talons. Sure enough, within seconds the male osprey flew in with a fish fixing to land by the nest. Immediately, the magpies took off towards the osprey in order to harass it and perhaps cause it to let go of its prey. They had no such luck as the osprey landed safely and shielded its fish with its wings and scary looks and gestures towards the magpies. These soon tired of the game and flew off for better hunting grounds, but initially I had managed this capture, as the two took off for the osprey. The image is perhaps not the best, but it does show a pair of Western Australian Magpies in flight and the difference in the plumage of the sexes. ‘The Australian Bird Guide (2019)’ lists eight subspecies of the Australian Magpie in Australia, equally split in ‘white-backed’ and ‘black-backed’ forms. This is a pair of the white-backed form of the southern Western Australian Magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen dorsalis, the male being the lower bird. However, G. tibicen dorsalis hybridises with the Long-billed Magpie G. tibicen longirostris over a large area in the north-western parts of WA, so depending on where you are it’s not always possible to determine a Western Australian Magpie subspecies by sight alone, and in the Perth Region there’s significant difference in the size of the white ‘saddle’ on the males’ backs. Time of capture 09:19.
EquipmentEquipment: Nikon D850 camera body in DX Mode with Nikkor AF-S 500mm f4G ED VR lens. Camera rig support: Gitzo GT3543XLS Tripod, Dietmar Nill gimbal tripod head, standing tall in the in shade of a shrub. EXPOSURE MODE: Shutter Priority; shutter speed 1/320 sec; f6.3 with EV +0.3 step & ISO-640. Metering Mode: Spot; Focus Mode: AF-C; AF Area Mode: Dynamic, 9 points. Post Production: Nikon ViewNX-i for viewing, and selecting file. Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw/CC 2020 for Tif conversion, resizing and 142% crop, selective sharpening and general post processing inclusive of removing disturbing objects and halos; Topaz Pro plug-in DeNoise AI for blanket sharpening and noise control. ‘Australian Bird Guide 2019’ for supplementary data, subspecies distribution confirmation and colour checks.
LocationIsland Point, Harvey Estuary, Western Australia
Keywordsmale, female, in flight, adult
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