Bird Wrangling

The limping magpie matriarch

I have added bird wrangler to my list of skills. Recently I spotted one of the local magpies – the limping matriarch I have written about before – climbing into one of the carriages of a halted train with her eye on a squashed biscuit inside. I rushed down the platform yelling at her. I should instead have rushed towards the driver making the stop signal.
The doors closed on us both inside the carriage and a panicked magpie was between me and the emergency button. She yarped and pecked the window and flew up and down the carriage causing people to duck and cover their faces. A generally terrifying time was had by all for the next 2 minutes. The largeness of a magpie and the fierce pointiness of its beak are particularly noticeable in an enclosed space.
When the train pulled up at the next station, everyone pulled open their closest door and after a bit of prompting, the magpie matriarch got out and flew off.
I went back to Zoo station on the next down train after a 15 minute wait and wondered if she’d find her way back.
Great relief when I saw her an hour and a half later, seemly uninjured, limping around the platform looking for biscuit crumbs. Hopefully she will not climb into a train again.

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