"Magpie," oil on panel by Melwell Romancito, 8x10

The addition of a bird feeder to my usual springtime hanging of hummingbird feeders has led to invasion by a family of magpies.

Hilarious and infuriating by turns, they empty the feeder, knock over plants, get pissed that I have covered my compost heap with straw. I also am unable to nap in my hammock because it invariably leads to a startle response when one of them rasps from my palapa roof.

Love them or hate them, magpies are part of the Northern New Mexican landscape as much as piñon trees, sage and chamisa.