A Second Bird Bath and the Course of Empire

We have a bird bath. When we moved in it was buried in the shrubbery, just a wide bowl with no plinth, so I put it on top of a large pot next to the barbed-wire tree and the birds came. Parrots various, our resident blackbirds, Indian Minahs, the odd pigeon, and Magpies.

Magpies are intelligent, curious, inventive risk-takers. They will come in through the patio doors and eat our cat’s dinner. They are bold and fearless, unlike Ravens who are arrogant, cowardly bullies.

This summer a couple of Magpies have appropriated the bird bath, chasing off all other birds, including the Ravens. So we have bought another bird bath and put it on the other side of the garden. We hope the smaller birds will go there, once they notice and get used to it.

At the worst, the two Magpies will have their work cut out policing both bird baths. It’s the old course of empire thing, as the empire grows the cost of holding it together against the interests of both the inhabitants and outsiders forces the imperial power towards bankruptcy. Sensible empires divest and build trade links, foolish ones send in troops and bombers. Magpies, history is against you, give up now.


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