An Invitation to an Old Friend

Since I moved to a Home by the sea, I have had a beautiful friendship with a young wild bird who lived in the area. Recently, you may have read how I had to end the friendship with this wild bird. You may also be wondering what happened since then.

The fact that a wild bird could be so trusting as to voluntarily come into my house and sit on my dining room table, without fear, should have been a real compliment and I began to think I shouldn’t be angry at him. He was just doing what he could to survive in a suburban environment.

If truth be told, I was as fearful for his safety as I was for mine when he began fluttering around inside the house. And no, he didn’t drop any messages anywhere nor knock a single item over in his flurry. What dexterity!

Old Mate, as I dubbed him did come back the day following his tour of my abode and he sat outside on the fence singing for me to bring him his regular treats. I ignored his pleas. I did feel mean.

The next week went by and Old Mate didn’t visit me at all. I heard him but never saw him.

Yesterday, I heard him in the neighbourhood.

I relented.

I placed a piece of ham (his favourite), on the fence for him. It was still there the next day. Was this a sign he was gone for good?

I had to admit I still wanted a relationship with him but wanted him to respect that he could not enter my house. I would meet him in the yard.

Today, he arrived again and so I extended an invitation to him and his lady partner and offered him ham from my hand. He took it willingly.

We are friends again.

Young male Magpie in the back yard of a suburban home

Birds are wonderful creatures.



108 thoughts on “An Invitation to an Old Friend”

  1. The feelgood story for the day ! Somehow I thought this just might happen . . . may you both find perimeters which work ! This does happen among humans also . . . very much so on line ! Eighteen months back someone I had become to like and respect let me down . . . as a gentleman and just plain as a human being . . .I almost closed the door completely . . . then left it ajar . . . the new ‘rules’ are not quite in place, but . . . well, one of many stories duplicated . . . Hope you and the Old Friend can work it out . . .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So lovely of you to say, Eha! I am glad that you and your gentlemen friend can find boundaries that work for you both. I myself regret losing friends, and try to accept that people change and their friendship can still be of value, even if our thoughts don’t align. After all, if we only keep yes people around us, how do we ever learn and grow?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. *laughter* In NO way romantic ! I just happened to be there to help him set up his blog . . . The main problem actually is that he feels he will be disliked if he says ‘no’ and I feel; REAL relationships cannot develop unless one presents the ‘real self’ . . . ? !

        Liked by 1 person

        1. This is such a common problem. Learning how to respectfully say No. It is okay to say a polite No. I took a long time to learn that, or to phrase it in a polite way. I am still practicing. From time to time, I feel obligated. You might have to model that for him, until he learns how to say it. He sounds like a sensitive guy.


          1. Oh Amanda, I am also still practicing . . . and how !! Since I have never made it to have my own posts I guess I feel less ‘obligated’ ! But, y’know . . .on more than one occasion lately I have felt the ‘OMG, I did not mean to be mean’ syndrome . . . have just ‘pretended’ all was OK . . . and just somehow the fact that I did not always rant and rave ended up the recipient really understanding and appreciating when I did !!! Something called ‘trust’ which did not emanate from Mr Google 🙂 !!!

            Liked by 1 person

    1. These ones are young and perhaps it will transpire that they are a little foolish. Time will tell, whether they take too many risks that older and wiser birds might not. They remind me so much of reckless teenagers.


  2. I’d not seen a magpie of that colour before. I have seen other neighbours around here who have magpie friends come to visit them regularly. I can’t believe these are the one and the same (perhaps not these friends) who swoop bike riders.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have seen segments on TV where they trialled different types of headgear with and without cable ties inserted into the helmets of cyclists, and even no helmet and did test runs through Magpie swooping territory. Interestingly, the helmet and the helmet ties with dangling baubles or cable ties attracted the most swoopings from the magpies, whilst a cyclist riding with no helmet was left alone.
      We have plovers in our estate that only attack walkers who have dogs on a lead!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Trust is the single most important factor in human relationships.

        I don’t generalise that humans are not trustworthy.There are genuine souls.

        But in our life we realize that it’s difficult to get trustworthy people because majority of us wear mask and it’s a privilege to see a true soul.

        Rarely in close family relationships one can come across the real meaning of trust.

        “After all everybody has secrets,and there are somethings that nobody knows about you but only you,right?” quote by Halle Berry.


            1. Life is supposed to be free of tensions and noby likes the constant frictions and irritants and funnily humans thrive on give & take policy.
              Ultimately one has to depend on oneself.
              “Make your judgment trustworthy by trusting it” Grenville Kleiser

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Yes.The Inner guide tells everything…. good,bad,believable,unbelievable,trustworthy or deceitful etc. And women are given this special gift by the Almighty.

              Choice is ours.Either listen to it or don’t listen to it.Or listen to it and be flexible and neutral,but you have to take the call.

              Two things can help us bettering one’s life.One is self trust and the other is confidence.

              But not necessary that we are the winners all the time.And rarely gut feelings can ditch us.That is the way of life and let us accept it and move on.

              I always laugh at myself when I remember one quote attributed to Joseph Stalin “I trust no one,noteven myself”

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Stalin would do well not to trust himself! His was a mind that couldn’t be trusted. To have such power and some would say prestige, in a good and bad sense, would be corrupting for the ego.
              Interesting that you say that women has this special gift. Do men not have some kind of intuition too? Or women just able to tap into it easier?

              Liked by 1 person

            4. Yes. Women’s intuition is far far superior to that of men and Majority of men misread women and try to act smart only to cut a sorry figure later.

              Men too have intuitions but strangely they act dumb.I don’t have a perfect answer why is so?

              As far as women concerned it’s that extra ability (gift of God) which gives them extraordinary power- right from keeping family together to becoming president of he country.

              Thanks for making me think think and think… intersting homework for my otherwise lazy brain.

              Please continue to keep my brain busy.I love this.😄

              Liked by 1 person

  3. I am glad your old mate did not poo on your carpet! Its nice to feed them by hand. perhaps I need to take some ham to the crows on my park instead of biscuits.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love how friendly Maggie’s are so willing to be friends. If you’ve made friends with a family near by you, they never forget you, even long after you’ve ceased to feed them. They seem to pass down from generation to generation that you can be trusted and will never swoop you. We used feed some. One would actually tap at the glass door, and when I opened it , he would toddle around to the fridge indicating to me it was time for a snack. He knew I’d take a ball of mince out for his family. However, as we went away often, I realised it wasn’t good for them to depend on us as if we were their local McDonalds. I stopped feeding them, and instead mulched up the garden and ensured plentiful worms for them. Ten years later they seemed to still show a friendly bond with us and would come by just for a chat and a chortle. Definitely birds of great character.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Birds are amazing and super intelligent and like you, I am a tad concerned that they don’t become dependent on food from households.
      It sounds like you developed a lovely relationship with those Maggies and I am heartened to hear that they will remember us and perhaps continue to visit. Albeit not at the dining table! I can just imagine your little guy toddling over to the fridge. What did Mr Tilly think about it? Miss Schnauzer pup, now 7 months thinks she has the job of border security!


      1. That was before we had Mr Tilly. But often if we encounter Maggie’s when on a regular walking route with him, we’ll share one of his treats with them. Not particularly good magpie food I’m sure, but it still builds a relationship of trust that will prevent us being swooped in breeding season. Tills doesn’t seem to mind sharing at all.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree that they would help build trust with the local community. Good thinking. I assume they would like Mr. Tilly’s treats as they would be meat based, I assume?


  5. We had a similar case with a little wagtail in South Africa when my dad had his knee replacement. They made friends, the little bird came when it wanted food and generally it cheared us all up with its friendly call. I actually wrote a blog about the event, for years later it brought the whole family to the kitchen and I’m convinced that its offspring also kept to the habit.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Usually the only time we see woodpeckers is when we hike out in the local forest– about 50 minutes from home. But we do have a re-headed woodpecker that frequents our orchid and palm tree about 3 times a month. He only stays for about 10 minutes– to drink and peck about a bit– before taking off. The sparrows don’t really care for him, but he ignores them. Still, we’re glad for the occasional visit. The only problem that arises is the rare swoop down by a very large cooper hawk– probably 3 times a year. That gets all the local birds scattering. Have a great day, Amanda.


    1. I suppose they are not too dissimilar to crows in size and beak shape. The plumage will change to a stark black and white as they get older. I just checked Wiki – not related to the Covids and seems to have its own genus. ” a medium-sized black and white passerine bird native to Australia and southern New Guinea. Although once considered to be three separate species, it is now considered to be one, with nine recognised subspecies. A member of the Artamidae, the Australian magpie is placed in its own genus Gymnorhina and is most closely related to the black butcherbird (Melloria quoyi). It is not, however, closely related to the European magpie, which is a corvid.”
      There is an interesting comment here about those being swooped on by breeding magpies too –
      “Described as one of Australia’s most accomplished songbirds, the Australian magpie has an array of complex vocalisations. It is omnivorous, with the bulk of its varied diet made up of invertebrates. It is generally sedentary and territorial throughout its range. Common and widespread, it has adapted well to human habitation and is a familiar bird of parks, gardens and farmland in Australia and New Guinea. This species is commonly fed by households around the country, but in spring (and occasionally in autumn) a small minority of breeding magpies (almost always males) become aggressive and swoop and attack those who approach their nests. Research has shown magpies can recognise at least 100 different people, and may be less likely to swoop individuals they have befriended.”
      I will most likely be safe from swooping attacks.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. True. I’d forgotten about that. I always try to save birds. Countless have flown into the house through an open window, to bang themselves against the closed ones… Sometimes it is just a matter of picking them up delicately in cupped hands and put them outside…


    1. I was just reading how Magpies are closely related to Butcherbirds and how they do remember those who develop some kind of relationship with them. Nesting magpies won’t swoop on those who feed them! Did you know that?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha. No, but they are getting brazen. I saw the dear eating grass next to a busy street and didn’t seem to mind the noise.
        No I didn’t get pictures. ;0(


          1. Any parrot would be fine at this point. Once I saw a blue coloured parrot in the zoo and ever since, I have been thinking about getting it

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Ohhh tell the farmers to send them my way. 😂 what are those green parrots called? The one we commonly see? I am not aware of their breeds and all

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I will take a look. Crows are very intelligent but not as friendly as our magpies. They apparently have meetings each morning, I assume, to discuss the day’s feeding areas.


  7. Love this post Amanda which reminds me of my relationship with my Gambian cats. I did a post ‘boundaries and trust’ during my 2018 visit and just this week I was thinking of doing another cat related post from my recent trip, serendipidy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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