An Australian magpie, nice and friendly at this time of year, but watch out in spring! That sharp beak swooping towards you can be quite terrifying, as the magpies defend their nests, and it's not just pedestrians who have to watch out - magpies will swoop cyclists, posties and animals - anything they perceive as a threat.
They're smart birds - I've seen one wait for the postman, and swoop him all the way down the street, and another sidling along a branch to position itself right above an unsuspecting person, before dropping a little 'gift' from above.
Along the road the magpies walk
with hands in pockets, left and right.
They tilt their heads, and stroll and talk.
In their well-fitted black and white
they look like certain gentlemen who seem most nonchalant and wise
until their meal is served - and then
what clashing beaks, what greedy eyes!
But not one man that I have heard
throws back his head in such a song
of grace and praise - no man nor bird.
Their greed is brief; their joy is long.
For each is born with such a throat
as thanks his God with every note.