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[Help] Protecting Garden Birds - Magpies - Advice Please



nevergoagain

Well-known member
Jul 28, 2005
1,247
nowhere near Burgess Hill
Away from the other boring shit. I'm lucky enough to have a decent garden that attracts a wide variety of small birds, finches, tits, woodpecker etc. This year though we've got 2 sets of magpies that have nested and seem to have deterred the smaller birds from coming in and nesting. Now I don't want to upset nature and just shoot the magpies but I don't want to lose the lovely small bird population either. Any thoughts ?.
 




Feb 23, 2009
23,645
Brighton factually.....
Away from the other boring shit. I'm lucky enough to have a decent garden that attracts a wide variety of small birds, finches, tits, woodpecker etc. This year though we've got 2 sets of magpies that have nested and seem to have deterred the smaller birds from coming in and nesting. Now I don't want to upset nature and just shoot the magpies but I don't want to lose the lovely small bird population either. Any thoughts ?.
Buy a cat.

Preferably a Caracal
 
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GT49er

Well-known member
NSC Patron
Feb 1, 2009
47,655
Gloucester
Away from the other boring shit. I'm lucky enough to have a decent garden that attracts a wide variety of small birds, finches, tits, woodpecker etc. This year though we've got 2 sets of magpies that have nested and seem to have deterred the smaller birds from coming in and nesting. Now I don't want to upset nature and just shoot the magpies but I don't want to lose the lovely small bird population either. Any thoughts ?.
Personally I wouldn't bother about upsetting nature - magpies have been increasing in population hugely in recent years; having fewer of them would be no bad thing! The blighters nested near me - one morning, after the family had fledged, I had seven of the buggers attacking my bird-feeding station! Little birds conspicuous by their absence.
If I'd had the means I's have gladly taken a pot shot!
 


Tom Hark Preston Park

Will Post For Cash
Jul 6, 2003
71,226
Away from the other boring shit. I'm lucky enough to have a decent garden that attracts a wide variety of small birds, finches, tits, woodpecker etc. This year though we've got 2 sets of magpies that have nested and seem to have deterred the smaller birds from coming in and nesting. Now I don't want to upset nature and just shoot the magpies but I don't want to lose the lovely small bird population either. Any thoughts ?.
Don't mess with magpies, there will only be one winner...

 




The Antikythera Mechanism

The oldest known computer
NSC Patron
Aug 7, 2003
7,937
Magpies will eat the eggs and chicks of other birds, in fact they will eat virtually anything. We don't have them nesting in our garden, but nearby as our garden borders woods. If you can get at the magpies nests, get rid of them and that will be a start. We have "Roamwild" bird feeders that are squirrel and large bird proof (Woodpeckers are ok). If there isnt accessible food they should stay away
Woodpecker.jpg
 


Weststander

Well-known member
NSC Patron
Aug 25, 2011
66,254
Withdean area
I’ve pondered this before too. Alan Clark in his diaries I think mentioned trapping magpies then killing them, then unable to get over the guilt.

Interestingly for us, a pair of magpies have nested, but we have more small birds than ever. Nesting Robins and Blue Tits, visiting sparrows, woodpeckers and goldfinches.

I’d let nature take its course.

I’ve worked out that Grey Squirrels are a big cause of raided nests. Alien to the UK, the odds are stacked in their favour.

Perhaps our garden is a haven for birds because of steps taken to help them. Grow Teasels and don’t chop them down in winter for example.
 








Westdene Seagull

aka Cap'n Carl Firecrotch
NSC Patron
Oct 27, 2003
21,321
The arse end of Hangleton
I can lend you my Springer Spaniel - he f***ing hates magpies - hence why we have none in our garden. You can have him for a week from Saturday if you feed and walk him !
 






Zeberdi

“Vorsprung durch Technik”
NSC Patron
Oct 20, 2022
5,699
Away from the other boring shit. I'm lucky enough to have a decent garden that attracts a wide variety of small birds, finches, tits, woodpecker etc. This year though we've got 2 sets of magpies that have nested and seem to have deterred the smaller birds from coming in and nesting. Now I don't want to upset nature and just shoot the magpies but I don't want to lose the lovely small bird population either. Any thoughts ?.
I’d let the Magpies breed and raise young - they will disperse in a few weeks. Magpies are relatively solitary birds outside the breeding season.

You can help smaller birds by putting guards over any nest boxes and ensuring you are creating plenty of thick shrubs (preferably prickly ones) for nesting habitat and natural cover.

Btw your Woodpeckers are just as likely to raid nestboxes as Magpies and squirrels or cats, so putting guards over them is a good idea anyway.
 
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Thunder Bolt

Silly old bat
Magpies will eat the eggs and chicks of other birds, in fact they will eat virtually anything. We don't have them nesting in our garden, but nearby as our garden borders woods. If you can get at the magpies nests, get rid of them and that will be a start. We have "Roamwild" bird feeders that are squirrel and large bird proof (Woodpeckers are ok). If there isnt accessible food they should stay away
View attachment 185440
Woodpeckers eat fledglings. I can remember Springwatch a couple of years ago, when a woodpecker discovered a blue tits nest. It was horrible.
That's why nesting boxes now have a metal edge around the entrance, so that woodpeckers can't peck at the wood to enlarge it.
 






Green Cross Code Man

Wunt be druv
Mar 30, 2006
20,102
Eastbourne
The magpies that were nesting in the tree in my back garden spent a a lot of time shouting at my cat, which she was not happy about!
Yep, and in my experience cars tend to catch the smaller birds. One of my cats tried to dispatch a seagull a few years ago. It was a pretty even fight and both left licking their wounds, seagull flew away making a terrible din and the cat slunk away mewling.
 




southstandandy

WEST STAND ANDY
Jul 9, 2003
5,827
Had this issue a few years ago. Just used an old air rifle and took the buggers out. Small birds returned in a matter of days.
 






Tim Over Whelmed

Well-known member
NSC Patron
Jul 24, 2007
10,419
Arundel
Get rid of the Magpie's, evil b*&^ards, they rape and pillage until their heart's content.
 


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