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Caught on camera: mischievous magpie attempts to steal postman's letter

Magpie on a hay bale
(Image credit: Future)

A British postman out on his rounds caught a mischievous magpie on camera as it tried to steal a letter in Leiston, Suffolk. These intelligent birds are known for their affinity for shiny objects, but nobody had ever considered that a mystery envelope might also take their fancy.

In the minute-long video posted on the Royal Mail Twitter, you can hear Rob the postman talking to a magpie that’s perched itself on top of a stack of letters. He asks it questions such as ‘what do you think you’re doing?' and then tells it it to shoo as it will get him in trouble. 

• Read more: Submit your funniest photos in the Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2022 (opens in new tab)

The magpie seems to be completely unfazed by its close proximity to another human. Only when the postman tries to get the letter off him does he get a peck on the finger. Eventually, the postman is able to retrieve the letter and deliver it to its rightful owner but only after chasing the naughty magpie around someone’s garden.

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While most of the replies on the post are lighthearted, joking about the ‘new meaning of airmail’, some Twitter users couldn’t help but shed negativity on the feed. One user asked why Royal Mail are putting the price of first class stamps up to £1 while another complained that magpie would probably do a better of delivering post than Royal Mail as she was still waiting on post to be delivered to people. 

Animals bring so much joy to our lives, whether they’re pets or in the wild, they can often be caught doing things that entertain us which is why the Comedy Pet Photo Awards and the Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards (opens in new tab) exist. Each year amateur and professional photographers are invited to submit photos into each competition for the chance of winning a cash prize as well as the fame and glory of being crowned champion. Now that the Comedy Wildlife Awards has a video category, this could very well be submitted and who knows, it could even win… 

Perhaps a naughty magpie doesn't seem like the most important thing in the world right now, but at a time when so much of the news we see is hard to digest or sad to read, it’s nice to appreciate the unexpected things that make us laugh or bring a smile to our faces. 

Read more:

Best camera for wildlife photography (opens in new tab)
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10 pro photography tips for better pet portraits (opens in new tab)

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.