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Black-Billed Magpies Making Nests

Not too far from the path that runs beside the golf course i saw a lot of activity as magpies flew back and forth. They had sticks and were going deep into the valley and coming back uphill to one tree where a large nest was in process of being made. I read in a field guide that it can take 40 days to construct a nest, that both the male and female work together and the entrance is in the side of a dome. At one point they saw me watching and they disappeared for a while. I walked away so they could continue, and they did. A day later i watched them from the top of the hill where it was a good view and far enough away that they were not disturbed.

Here is the first day looking up at the nest.

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Here is the vantage point from the top of the hill. The partner is on the backside or has flown off to get more twigs and the one in the photo is going into the side entrance. The last photo shows the hole .

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Shot in aperture priority with a 300 mm lens at 1/200 sec to 1/800 sec f/6.3, 400 ISO

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8 responses

  1. Wow, what an impressive size nest! Do they live inside the middle as if it were a cocoon or on top in a bed?

    April 15, 2014 at 10:39 am

    • It is funny, you walk down the street here and you can see these big balls of twigs on just about every block. The entrance is in the side that is where the bird is going into the nest that you see so it is hollow inside with sides and a roof.

      April 15, 2014 at 11:00 am

  2. I love these birds and never see them here. They do make a huge nest for the size of the bird. Planning a big family?

    April 15, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    • Ha Ha, it is probably to make room for the two of them and their long tails. i will keep an eye out for the young ones when they come.

      April 15, 2014 at 11:55 pm

  3. I miss seeing magpies so much. They don’t live where I moved. Clever, beautiful birds.

    April 16, 2014 at 8:37 am

    • I agree. I am starting to try to capture them more and get to know their habits.

      April 18, 2014 at 1:37 am

  4. What a big nest! Awesome digital photos. Thanks for sharing.

    April 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    • thanks! I will be sure to check out your site. intrigued by the titles re:the artists.

      April 18, 2014 at 1:36 am

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