Unaware of Leader's deception, thirty-three magpies living along Penawawa Creek vote him in as the chairman of the magpie rookery. He is able to cover his selfish ambition and narcissism with his striking beauty and smooth talk. Leader's disregard for others and defiance of law breaks the contract between the robins and magpies: never eat a robin egg or fledgling.
In a clandestine move, he steals four robin eggs, consuming one and bringing the remainder home to his family. The robins discover clues that lead directly to the magpies, causing the robins to declare war. Fearing the exposure of his burglary, Leader makes an offer to the robins to prevent war. Leader negotiates away one of his and Mini's own newborn fledglings to the robins as compensation for their loss.
Overlooking the fact that a robin nest is much smaller than a magpie nest, this magpie falls from the nest, breaking a wing. Unable to care for the injured bird, the robins return him to Leader and Mini. Unfortunately, his magpie siblings are unable to recognize this stranger and quickly dispose of him. More lies and manipulation flow from Leader, as he goes deeper into a security that will soon crumble. Because of his failure to be a positive role model, life unravels. He realizes that personal ambition and hunger for power leave him empty and powerless. In deep remorse, he attempts to apologize to all those he has deceived and almost loses his own life when a field fire nearly consumes their habitat.