vicious magpie?

I would like to know what i can do about vicious magpies.

We had 2 wild rabbits that had decided to sample the delights of my garden, and whilst I was a little fed up that they have eaten my wood anemones and the primroses i wish them no harm and  enjoy watching them hopping around the garden.

I returned home this afternoon to find not much left of a dead rabbit left on the lawn. It had been opened up and everything apart from its fur and bones had been devoured. I assumed that a fox has got it and the crows and magpies had feasted on it.

I then heard a screeching sound outside which turned out to be a magpie, which was sitting in a tree and watching the other bunny which was on the grass. I was just about to go out and scare the magpie off when it flew down and tried to attack the bunny. Fortunately my shouting seemed to distract the magpie enough to allow the bunny to get away but when I am not around I feel for the poor little creature.

Does anyone know what i can do to keep these magpies away (unfortunately i don't know anyone with a shot gun who can shoot them for me!!)

Many thanks


  • Hi Lelly

    On the RSPB forum I think it's unwise of you to suggest that magpies should be shot just because they are doing what comes naturally to them like the wild rabbits are. It doesn't make them any worse than any other living creatures. The magpies might have 'poor little baby creatures' in a nest that need feeding.

    Some people might prefer them to rabbits which eat primroses and wood anemones.

    Best wishes Chris

    Best wishes Chris

    Click Here to see my photos

  • MC

    I wasn't sure whether to say nothing and go away or say something.

    Maybe now I'm a year older, I'm officially a grumpy old woman, so I decided on the latter.

    Best wishes Chris

    Best wishes Chris

    Click Here to see my photos

  • Anonymous

    In reply to Woodpecker:

    Hi Chris,


    Yours, as always

                                  Billy Goat Gruff.

  • I'm sorry you feel that way Mickycoop, have just witnessed the other bunny being murdered by the magpie. Perhaps I should have taken a picture for you?

    It was a simple question on the "all creatures" forum about how to keep magpies from hurting animals. I have a very elderly cat and if the magpie can kill the bunny what is to stop it hurting the cat?

    if you can't come up with anything constructive then perhaps as Chris suggested then the best thing to do with idiots like me is to ignore us! I'm sure there are plenty of other charities that would like my monetary contributions should you guys feel i am not worthy.



  • Anonymous

    In reply to lelly:

    Tarra then

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    The magpies are not being vicious - they are doing what comes naturally and what they need to do to survive, same as what a fox or a stoat would do.  You mentioned thinking it was a fox in your post - does that mean it would be acceptable if it was?  Nature isn't always pretty - some animals feed on others it is a fact of life and it is wrong for us to interfere because of our emotions towards one or the other.  Leave the magpies be and leave the rabbits to take care of themselves, they are wild animals afterall. 


    Millie & Fly the Border Collies

  • In reply to KatTai:

    Nature is nature..... A Sparrowhawk killing a sparrow, A Fox killing a rabbit, A Killer Whale killing a Seal, A Seal killing a Fish and yes a Magpie killing a rabbit too.... Everything needs to survive, it's life! What wouldn't be nature would be you shooting a Magpie who is simply trying to survive and at this time of the year feeding it's young. All you're doing is interfering! And if you do contribute to the RSPB how could you even consider that?...


  • In reply to Lynn:

    Hi All, Some good constructive points made here from KatTai and Daneil1206, but I would like to remind you all to take note of the T&Cs for use of this site - Users have every right to disagree with others opinions on such emotive topics and to express this, so long as it's relevant to the topic and not deemed to be offensive. However, personal attacks and anti-social comments will not be tolerated and may result in your comments and account being deleted.

    It's important to keep this issue in context - Lelly's post isn't asking for clarification on the predation effects of Magpies, but is a simple call to humanely deter the birds! So more of a welfare issue really.. It's also worth pointing out that using deterrents in this context will only be for the benefit of the human observer, and will make absolutely no difference whatsoever to the rabbits vulnerability to this kind of natural threat. The Magpies will still hunt the same number anyway, and where it does this, makes no difference to either predators or prey.

    In truth, magpies are very difficult to deter. They are a dominant and prominent species, but they do far less damage to the rest of the wildlife in gardens than most people believe (please see the attached document "Magpies - menace or misunderstood?" for full details and the legal status).


    The most effective deterrent methods include:


    ·     Half full plastic bottles or CDs hung up in trees to scare the predators away. Magpies do not like the way light reflects from the surface.

    ·     Guard’n’Eyes scarecrow balloon from Dazer UK.

    ·     It may be possible to deter them by playing a tape of a crow or rook distress call. Tapes are available from Wingaway.


    For those of you who may wish to look at predation effects in more detail please refer to our document - The Predation of Wild Birds in the UK - A review of its conservation impact and management.


  • Anonymous

    In reply to LloydScott:

    Hello Lloyd,

    If you have a look at some of my posts, you'll see that I'm only too willing to answer requests for information, from honest, well meaning people with genuine concerns regarding the potential effects of Magpie predation. This, however, is, at best nothing more than a wind-up. At worst, it's a boast from one who wishes to exact narrow minded revenge on a wild animal for not conforming to a distorted, anthropomormphic ideal. Which is, of course, no different from wishing to stamp a Hen Harrier chick to death! 

    If I may quote you:

    "Lelly's post isn't asking for clarification on the predation effects of Magpies, but is a simple call to humanly(sic) deter the birds!"

    Personally, I think the request for a shotgun to shoot the Magpies is anything but humane, don't you?

    If people wish to post such comments on any forum, knowing fullwell that these comments (which go against the fundamental reason behind the society's foundation) will antagonise the members here, then, in my opinion, they fully deserve what they get. It seems it's fine for Dr Avery to highlight the idiocy of Richard Ingrams, regarding Red Kites (and rightly so), but not for others to react against such drivel! I make no apology for my remarks, and if this does not suit anyone then I'll leave this forum to those who wish the destruction of our natural heritage to suit their own, selfish ends.


  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Tarra then mickycoop