I was concerned at first he would swoop us, so I kept an eye on him. He continued to follow us.
Why? Was he escorting us politely from his territory? Looking for food from me? Was he just curious?
Magpie behavior is often a mystery to me. Magpies are among the most intelligent birds, and they often engage with humans. They recognize faces over time, and there are accounts of them gardening, attempting to type at a keyboard, and introducing their offspring to their favorite humans. They have twice been observed in behavior that looks like a trial by jury.
This was not the first time I have been puzzled by a magpie. Around six months ago, when I was hiking at Red Hill, a magpie marched right up to me, a few inches from my toes.
Australian magpies are endlessly fascinating, mysterious birds, and I am glad to have them as my neighbors.