Pee Wee

Pee WeeThe beautiful Mud Lark or PeeWee, handsomely dressed up for a formal dinner, is a smaller, slightly different version to his cousin the Magpie. These birds will vigorously defend their mud-constructed nests, which are prone to collapse during heavy wet weather when the young may fall out.  Pee Wees will protect their young, dive-bombing trespassers and continuing to feed the dislodged fledglings until they are strong enough to fly back to safety.

They also have a well-developed sense of communication, calling out if anything comes by – which is where their name ‘Pee Wee’ originated, the male calls “pee” and the female responds with “wee.” (I must admit, I have not been able to interpret their call as such; however this is said to be the origins of their colloquial name!) It is easy to tell which bird is male and which is female; the male has a solid white bar over his eye and the female’s white bar is broken, so it is two patches of white over her eye.

Pee Wees are very social birds, like Magpies, and convey similar messages if they make an appearance in your life. Research portrays these two species as being antagonistic towards each other; however I have often seen groups of the two birds feeding together on freshly mowed lawns, teaching their young how to feed. The PeeWee is also known to nest in the same tree as the Willy Wagtail, the theory being that the extra observers or pairs of eyes will identify predators more readily than one pair. A form of safety insurance!

In the Dreaming, it was the PeeWee that taught the first man about love and caused him to long for, and finally ask, the Great Spirit for a mate.[1] Pee Wees are certainly a symbol of love – for not only a partner, but for family and peers.


[1]               Ramsay Smith, W.  “Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals.”



Comments 2

  1. Frances Moore

    My husband who lived with me for 37 years, together with our son who is now 35 all lived in the same house in New South Wales (Aust). Sadly my husband (and father of our son) passed away some months ago with only 4 months from time of diagnosis to his death. Our son and I cared for him at home until he passed. My husband’s birthday was on 1st November, and since the 1st November this year, which was obviously extremely upsetting for me and our son, a Mudlark (or sometimes they are known as a Magpie-Lark or a Pee Wee to the Aboriginal people) has persistedly and deliberately flown and at my son’s bedroom window when he’s in that room, with the Mudlark’s claws deliberately bagging very loudly on the flywire screen for long periods of time, and keeping it’s balance there by flapping its wings outstretched and staring directly at him. It is certainly not catching spiders or insects, but obviously trying to get my son’s attention and “tell” him something. And because this bird has been “visiting” regularly most days, and started this on my husband’s birthday seems to be most symbolic. So my son is absolutely certain it is trying to tell him something, and that it is a message from his dad. Can this be true, or are we reading more into this than it’s worth. So we have two questions: firstly is this a common thing for Mudlarks to do, because we’ve never seen or heard of it before, and we are surrounded by Mudlarks where we live, but this is precisely the same Mudlark every time. And secondly, if it is his father trying to desperately tell him something, would it be good or bad news? It keeps happening, and my son is becoming quite disturbed by it all. If you are able, can you explain what this behaviour means.

  2. Elizabeth

    That’s really beautiful
    I have been seeing them and they have come close to me and were comfortable
    I love birds and my Mother
    used to say that too.

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