ABOVE: June Weekes hand-feeds a magpie in the backyard of her Andergrove home.
ABOVE: June Weekes hand-feeds a magpie in the backyard of her Andergrove home.

Magpies swooping in for a backyard feed

DOZENS of magpies and other birds flock to the backyard of an elderly Mackay couple every day.

They come to the Andergrove home for food.

Ken and June Weekes have been feeding the birds for years.

They said it kept the animals happy.

"They don't swoop as much when you are friendly with them," Mr Weekes said.

"They are used to the food now, so they sit around on our clothes line and wait for us to come out.

"We feed them Coles mince."

Over the years, the wild birds have also made friends with the pensioners' domestic geese.

Mrs Weekes said her backyard had a great atmosphere.

"We feed them twice a day," she said.

"We also get butcher birds coming along sometimes.

"They sing their little heart out.

"Because we're in dry season and mating season, the birds seem to be extra hungry."

Mr Weekes said more people should take care of birds.

"They are tamer that way," he said.

"A few people in our area feed the birds. This one butcher bird sits on our roof and always sings whenever a car moves."

Mr Weekes said feeding the birds was just one of the ways the couple kept active.

"We're both pensioners," he said. "It's important for us to give back."

Mrs Weekes also volunteers at the Lifeline warehouse.

She takes broken watches home for Mr Weekes to repair.

These watches are then resold at Lifeline.

"This is our contribution to life," Mr Weekes said.

"It's another way we give back to the community.

"The money raised goes towards suicide prevention.

"It's a great cause."


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