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My friend, the Currawong, returns

He hadn't visited me for months - then, out of the blue, just as the mating season is beginning, he appears! He flutters in front of my kitchen window, watching me. Once he's captured my attention, he perches on the veranda railing and begins to sing. I know what he wants ... and he's trained me well. I run to the front door and speak to him.

'It's okay; I'm here!"

He struts along the railing to the spot where I usually provide treats and waits for me.

I return to the kitchen, fetch the packet of cheese, and return to the veranda, breaking off a few pieces; not too much because cheese isn't good for birds — but a little treat is fine.

He graciously accepts it, watching me with his beady yellow eyes, allowing me to approach but not too close. Two meters is close enough. This is good. I don't want him to become domesticated; he is, after all, a wild bird and should remain that way.

I offer him meal worms, but he's having none of it. He can forage for worms anytime! Cheese is our ritual, and he won't allow me to forget it.

Currawongs are highly intelligent birds and sometimes form strong bonds with humans. They remember faces and, even though months can pass between visits, they remember routines.

He chose me many months ago, bringing me toast crusts and chicken bones as gifts. In fact, it was last breeding seasons, and I wondered whether he had designs on me.

But it seems he simply wanted extra food to increase his strength for the rigors of mating and raising chicks — but with the added bonus of interspecies friendship.

I love him!

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