|Not a good photo however I have included it because it shows the two pairs of fighting magpies and their proximity when I first found them.|
Shortly after this photo was taken, one pair moved about 25 metres away into longer grass and continued fighting there so I then followed the pair in the shorter grass.
|For the duration of the fight the two birds were locked together by at least one foot.|
|The dominant bird is on the left. As they lay on their sides the dominant bird pecked repeatedly at the head area of the other bird.|
|The underdog bird grabbed the bill of the dominant bird to ward off the pecks.|
|A few times the fighting subsided and they lay motionless, still locked by the feet, to briefly recover their energy before the fighting continued again.|
|The bird on the left has a bloody wound to the forehead.|
|The injured bird also has a bloody wound to the throat and the side of the face. The dominant bird is relatively unscathed.|
|I was starting to feel concerned for the bird on the left and briefly considered breaking up the fight however I decided to leave nature to take its course which is the principle I usually follow.|
At times the birds rolled around in a wild melee. This may have been the underdog bird trying to break free and escape.
|The dominant bird from the other fighting pair arrived and landed a few pecks on the underdog bird.|
|Having landed a few pecks the bird then carolled before striding off.|
The fight continued for the remaining pair for
another 2 minutes and 50 seconds.
|By this stage I was starting to think the dominant bird was going to kill or seriously maim the other one, however shortly after this photo the underdog bird escaped and flew to a nearby tree.|
|The victor briefly chased the beaten bird before it took flight.|
|The beaten bird takes refuge in a shrubby tree to recover before departing the area.|
The beaten bird in the photo above looks to have some dark colouring on the mantle feathers so it may be an immature bird.