Question What do magpies like to eat so that they come to my yard? Also this is probably silly, but is there a way to "befriend" them? I know they're smart, and maybe if I feed them they'll stick around for a bit. Also, I am in North America. I heard the Australian ones are more territorial, but these don't attack anyone as far as I know...
Answer Magpies eat most anything so I can't tell you what attracts them to your yard. Don't "befriend" because if they get used to people, they invariably end up getting killed by a cat, dog, or kid with a BB gun - they need to stay wary of humans. They will not attack you unless you get too close to their nest but even they they can't do you any harm. Just enjoy watching them.
Any and all questions about WILD birds - not caged, domestic or poultry. Can answer questions about identification, taxonomy, behavior, courtship, plumage, flight, or anything else. Wild birds only, please.
Taught ornithology (the study of birds) at the university level for 30 years. Have written five books on birds, published 30 scientific articles, write a blog on birds, have the website www.ornithology.com, lectured to hundreds of groups on birds,and have traveled to 90 countries studying birds.
Organizations A variety of ornithological and conservation organizations.
Publications Real Simple Magazine, Enterprise-Record, and several ornithological and ecological journals.
Education/Credentials PhD in Zoology with emphasis in ornithology.
Awards and Honors Professional Achievement Award, Jack Rawlins Chair of Environmental Literach.