Over the last couple of months I have been developing my own home-made trail camera using a Raspberry Pi micro computer. The footage below shows the results of its first outing at the buzzard hide (albeit with the timestamp showing the wrong time).


As you can see, there were plenty of magpies taking advantage of the food that was available. Like the vultures of the UK, they seem to find food from a good distance away but often have to wait their turn before eating. Magpies gathering near the hide is usually a sign that there is a buzzard nearby and although their groups can number up to nearly 20 birds, they invariably keep their distance until the buzzard has landed. Then, as if the buzzard is a sign that the coast is clear, they will drop in, grab a mouthful and dart off again.

When many small pieces of food are on offer like the butcher's scraps that were down yesterday the magpies can dance around the buzzard quite happily. However, if the buzzard is feeding on a single, large piece of food, the magpies are much more cautious, tentatively tip toeing as close as possible before stretching out to nibble the food. This tactic rarely results in more than a tasting let alone a mouthful and it's only when the buzzard has had its fill and moved off the food that the magpies can really flood in. As a bonus, the spectacle of watching 10 magpies squabble over the remaining food is just good to photograph as the buzzard itself.