Francis Duggan

On Seeing Aussie Magpies - Poem by Francis Duggan

A mum and dad and their two children the children mottled dark brown and gray
The mum and dad are black and white birds they whistle and sing every day
Better known as Australian Magpies though Piping Shrikes their proper name
Most of them are not shy of humans and some of them are almost tame.

Named after the Eurasian Magpies perhaps by the white pioneers
Who came to settle in this Southern Country that is going back two centuries of years
The Eurasian Magpies are corvids and birds of quite a different race
But perhaps out of nostalgia they named the native shrikes after the black and white birds of their old Homeplace.

Two young Aussie Magpies with their parents they hatched out in the late Spring
On the powerlines by the roadway they whistle and they sing
On a warm Summer's day in late January with scarce a puff of breeze
Even in the shade 'tis not cool a high of thirty five degrees.

The Eurasian Magpies they got their name from to the corvid family belong
But the nostalgic pioneers in their bird naming on this one got it wrong
Since the Aussie Piping Shrikes are fine songsters and the Eurasian magpies cannot sing
Their distinctive familiar chatter to it has a grating ring.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, March 29, 2008

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