Wyoming Photographer Shares Moment a Magpie Maybe Saved a Moose
This is a moment akin to something you might expect to find in The Jungle Book except instead of a jungle, it's Wyoming. And, instead of monkeys, it's magpies and moose. It's the moment when a magpie just maybe saved the life of his/her moose friend.
One of my favorite YouTube channels based in Wyoming is Fy Nyth. It's photographer Ariel's place to share video moments from her tiny home in the Wyoming backcountry. She recently captured a moment between a moose and magpie where the moose isn't bothered even a little bit. Fact of the matter is the magpie is vital to the survival of the moose for a very simple reason: ticks.
It's not a surprise to me, but Ariel knows what she's talking about. The Kansas City Star did a story a couple years ago about how magpies ride on the backs of many animals in the West for the reason she mentioned. They feast on ticks which can be very harmful to the animals they're attached to. Feeder Watch calls it "magpie mutualism". In short, it's the mutually-beneficial behavior between two animals. The magpies get the ticks and the moose then don't get blood sucked by the ticks. It's truly a win-win.
Appreciate Ariel sharing this as it's not often we get to see this cooperative Wyoming animal moment like this. It's Wyoming nature helping nature for the benefit of all of us. Except the ticks, of course. Everyone can't be winners.