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Magpies During Breeding Season

As we all know, Magpies have a little habit during the breeding season and I should imagine even though it is nature, its something many aren't keen on.

Well I've had a Magpie visit here for a few years, it was injured and couldn't fly and used to get in and out of the garden by climbing the fence.

Anyway, as soon as he was fit and able he would still come back for food and strut around the garden.  Come spring though he instinct kicked in and he'd be in the confiers making that rattling call and sending all the birds flying (presumably for the eggs).

I spent some time giving some thought on how I could stop the Magpie doing this around the garden and came up with a solution - monkey nuts!

He goes absolutely wild for them and will spend the day collecting them and hiding them around our street and garden - I think every one of our neighbours now has a nut or two in their guttering or between the tiles on the roof, lol!

Just thought I'd share (in my usual waffling manner) my story of how I keep my Magpie occupied during spring :o)

  • What a great tip to keep the Magies from plundering nests. Would the blue tits not pick them up though with the risk of choking chicks. I usually stop using nuts from the end of March

    Of all creatures, man is the most detestable, he is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain.
    ~ Mark Twain

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Hi Paul

    Your Magpie sounds a real character to have around.  Our blackbirds go frantic when they are around.  I have counted 4 Magpies in my own garden at one time now.

    I am sure that they are easily tamed if they know that you like them.  Like the idea of the Monkey Nuts and I am sure that the Magpie will like the challenge of having to bury them and shell them.  They are intelligent birds.

    Love to see a picture or three of the bird if you manage to get one.

    Regards

    Kathy and Dave

    Paul E said:

    As we all know, Magpies have a little habit during the breeding season and I should imagine even though it is nature, its something many aren't keen on.

    Well I've had a Magpie visit here for a few years, it was injured and couldn't fly and used to get in and out of the garden by climbing the fence.

    Anyway, as soon as he was fit and able he would still come back for food and strut around the garden.  Come spring though he instinct kicked in and he'd be in the confiers making that rattling call and sending all the birds flying (presumably for the eggs).

    I spent some time giving some thought on how I could stop the Magpie doing this around the garden and came up with a solution - monkey nuts!

    He goes absolutely wild for them and will spend the day collecting them and hiding them around our street and garden - I think every one of our neighbours now has a nut or two in their guttering or between the tiles on the roof, lol!

    Just thought I'd share (in my usual waffling manner) my story of how I keep my Magpie occupied during spring :o)

  • Hi Paul

    One visits my garden occasionally but it's very shy and flies off if he even suspects I'm there.

    I saw this one the other day and noticed that the black barring is unusually absent:

    Best wishes Chris

    Best wishes Chris

    Click Here to see my photos

  • In reply to JudiM:

    Chrissie C said:

    What a great tip to keep the Magies from plundering nests. Would the blue tits not pick them up though with the risk of choking chicks. I usually stop using nuts from the end of March

    Hi Birdwatcher, the Blue Tits don't bother with them - I scatter them on the grass in the middle of the garden so they tend not to bother.  And of course, they're a bit too big for them, especially when they have to shell them.

     

    Kathy - he is quite the character and is very little trouble.  I too understand they tame quite easily, but here most birds are very shy, even though I have been feeding for a few years (about 5).  

    Here's a photo of him :

    Hi Chris, that is quite unusual with that Magpie in your photo.  Never seen one like that before!

    This Magpie of ours is shy too, I don't like the birds getting too tame to be honest in case there's a predator around and the birds are too complacent.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    In reply to Woodpecker:

    Hi Chris

    I have never seen a Magpie that is missing a bit of its regular plumage.

    Interesting to see

    Regards

    Kathy and Dave

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    In reply to Paul E:

    hi Paul

    What a beautiful picture of your Magpie.  The background goes well

    Yes, it is true what you say about wild birds becoming tame - they put their guard down so much so and they could become a victim to other birds or people.

    Regards

    Kathy and Dave

    Paul E said:

    What a great tip to keep the Magies from plundering nests. Would the blue tits not pick them up though with the risk of choking chicks. I usually stop using nuts from the end of March

    Hi Birdwatcher, the Blue Tits don't bother with them - I scatter them on the grass in the middle of the garden so they tend not to bother.  And of course, they're a bit too big for them, especially when they have to shell them.

     

    Kathy - he is quite the character and is very little trouble.  I too understand they tame quite easily, but here most birds are very shy, even though I have been feeding for a few years (about 5).  

    Here's a photo of him :

    Hi Chris, that is quite unusual with that Magpie in your photo.  Never seen one like that before!

    This Magpie of ours is shy too, I don't like the birds getting too tame to be honest in case there's a predator around and the birds are too complacent.

    [/quote]

     

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Lovely pictures everyone. As I've said before, they don't come in my garden for some reason, although there are several of them in the fields next door, and a pair in a neighbour's tree a few gardens away.

    Cheers, Linda.

    See my photos on Flickr

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Nicki C said:

    Hi Chris

    I have never seen a Magpie that is missing a bit of its regular plumage.

    Interesting to see

    Regards

    Kathy and Dave

    Hi Kathy

    I just clicked on my picture (2 times) and it blows up quite a lot. It looks like it has grown a new white feather where the black one should be. I swear that I haven't retouched the picture. I spotted this magpie at Dinton Pastures, and noticed that it looked slightly different, but at the time I couldn't think how it was different. That was the only reason that I took the picture.

    Best wishes Chris

     

    Best wishes Chris

    Click Here to see my photos

  • In reply to Woodpecker:

    Hi Paul E

    This is a very intersting post for me personally.  I have been putting out monkey nuts for aw.....a long time, intentionally for the squirrels to keep them off the bird food.  Then a few years ago I attracted the Jays and they in unison with the squirrels would tuck into the monkey nuts.  I haven't seen my Jays now a month or so or the squirrels for that matter but all of a sudden I have attracted a Magpie who has started to take the monkey nuts.  Not surprised really as Jays and Magpies are all part of the same family.

    Our neighbour has a huge connifer in their garden which abuts to ours.  In fact the connifer blocks huge amounts of light from our garden and it also becomes a block of flats when the breeding seasons starts - you wouldn't believe the amounts of birds that use it to nest in.  Every year about 4 to 6 Magpies descend on the connifer to go through and pick out the eggs.  The alarm calls from the residents when the Magpies descend are distressing if not amazing to say the least.  In all the years this has been happening this is the first year I've seen a Magpie take the nuts.   Couldn't even guess at the reason.

    Regards

    Kerry

     http://www.flickr.com/photos/kezmo6310/

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    In reply to Woodpecker:

    Hi Chris

    Well observed for seeing that blemish on the Magpie feathering

    You will have me looking at all Magpies now jsut incase they have that 'quirky' feather thing now

    Must have a look at the 4 Magpies in my own garden now

    Woodpecker said:

    Hi Chris

    I have never seen a Magpie that is missing a bit of its regular plumage.

    Interesting to see

    Regards

    Kathy and Dave

    Hi Kathy

    I just clicked on my picture (2 times) and it blows up quite a lot. It looks like it has grown a new white feather where the black one should be. I swear that I haven't retouched the picture. I spotted this magpie at Dinton Pastures, and noticed that it looked slightly different, but at the time I couldn't think how it was different. That was the only reason that I took the picture.

    Best wishes Chris

     

    [/quote]