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Could you clarify on magpies please?

(34 Posts)
hobbgoblin Tue 14-Jun-11 08:49:57

You know it's bad luck if you see one magpie but good if you see two and if you see three or more you get to find out the gender of your next child hmm..?

Right, well, could someone please clarify whether to make it a sighting of two magpies it has to be at that very instant?

Do you have to see them with both eyes at the same time or does it count if you look around for another one without moving? If you drive along a bit and see another one within 5 seconds, does that count as two?


MoreBeta Tue 14-Jun-11 08:57:07

The way magpies work is as follows.

Usualy, one sits up in a tree as a lookout and the other is poking about on the ground. Magpies 'together' like this are a couple and mate for life which is why it is considered good luck. It is seeing the 'couple' that matters. In fact, if I see one on its own I always check around to see the other one.

You ony see three or more together when they are fldlings (ie brothers and sisters) just having flown the nest.

Magpies are actually quite hateful viscious birds that we had problems with on the farm as they used to fly down and peck the eyes out of new born baby lambs as they like shiney things and are also carrion eaters. Their nests are often full of silver paper.

MoreBeta Tue 14-Jun-11 08:58:35

fldlings = fledglings

hobbgoblin Tue 14-Jun-11 09:01:21

That is very interesting. I always look very hard for the husband/wife magpie I must admit. But yesterday they were all young singletons who hadn't settled down yet. I scan the treetops until I am in danger of driving into a tree at 40mph.

Would they ever feel like pecking my eyes out?

Sorry for your lambs.

MitchiestInge Tue 14-Jun-11 09:01:40

As long as you say 'hello mr magenpie, how is your wife?' you are SAFE

LeonardNimoy Tue 14-Jun-11 09:03:20

I also think it's two for joy because, for the reasons Beta has listed, you are much less likely to see kust one. Nearly always see two. It's one of those supertstitions that came about to make people feel better.
I have no idea whether you have to see them with both eyes at the same time! Are you over-thinking this?!

hobbgoblin Tue 14-Jun-11 09:03:38

Oh yes! I knew there was something else I needed to ask. The saluting Mr Magpie thing (which I only learned about thanks to mumsnet), does that make one magpie good luck again then if you do it?

I muttered, "ooh i wonder where your wife is Mr Magpie" to myself just in case.

hobbgoblin Tue 14-Jun-11 09:04:51

Bit worried now as I wouldn't exactly call it saluting

MoreBeta Tue 14-Jun-11 09:07:27

Magpies will not peck your eyes out. Well not unless were laid half dead somewhere in the open and then you are fair game. Any member of the crow family will eat flesh - especially rotting.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 14-Jun-11 09:16:29

If you see one while and are so busy looking for another that you crash into a tree, that's 'sorrow' for sure.

Delightful thread to find under the 'religion' topic - are you a Magpiest? grin

swanker Tue 14-Jun-11 10:25:45

We have an albino magpie resident very close to us... is this very unusual?

hobbgoblin Tue 14-Jun-11 22:13:39

Dunno swanker but it sounds bloody lucky! Grimma I think I'm church of magpie

swanker Wed 15-Jun-11 11:36:13

I think the current Albino Magpie may actually be son or grandson of albino magpie... he's been here 5 years at least! grin

sittinginthesun Thu 16-Jun-11 18:10:36

Don't get me started on magpies - so many different people have told me different things, I find myself doing everything to make sure it's ok...

(mind you, my Dad once told me that if you see the back of an ambulance, you should stand on one leg, and put one hand over one eye - he made it up, but I still catch myself doing it).

Himalaya Fri 17-Jun-11 00:22:09

I always thought it was "hello Mr Magpie, where's your lovely wife?"

I guess I am a magpieist grin

GrimmaTheNome Fri 17-Jun-11 08:55:58

How do you know you're talking to the male?

Oh dear. The new religion of Magpeism is just like the others, male-dominant sadgrin

Threadworm8 Fri 17-Jun-11 09:03:29

Pretty sure that if you see two magpies sequentially and not contemporaneously it just doubles the bad luck attendant on the first sighting, with the proviso that an inter-sighting time-lag of not more than one second (during which you are allowed to swivel your eyes to extend your visual field, but you are not allowed to turn your head) is compatible with the designation of the two-magpie sighting as contemporaneous and not sequential, and therefore productive of one unit of good luck rather than two units of bad luck.


Petalouda Fri 17-Jun-11 09:39:16

homeopathy, sex-day gender selection and now magpie rules?! It must be a rainy day everywhere!

Himalaya Fri 17-Jun-11 09:42:55

You're right Grimma, from now on I will say "hello Mr or Mrs Magpie, where's your lovely spouse?" grin

swanker Fri 17-Jun-11 10:29:26

Do female magpies have the same colouring/markings as male magpies? That would be unusual among bird species wouldn't it?

GrimmaTheNome Fri 17-Jun-11 10:34:54

AFAIK corvids don't exhibit sexual dimorphism.

swanker Fri 17-Jun-11 11:09:49

V interesting, thank you grimma.

Threadworm8 Fri 17-Jun-11 12:46:30

swanker, we used to have a blackbird (or a series of related blackbirds) that was partly white (vitiligo??).

Albino magpie sounds a wonderful thing to have nearby. It must look very striking. I wonder if it is bad luck or good luck.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 17-Jun-11 13:23:57

Partially albino blackbirds are fairly common - we often have on with a white wing feather.

swanker Fri 17-Jun-11 13:39:48

Were I to believe in such as thing as 'luck' I would say he's probably very good luck grin similar to a golden butterfly (the best type ever, in Moominland).

I keep trying to take a snap of him, but he's never around when I have a camera handy or am not wrangling a small child.

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