Magpie's are vile.

We are blessed with having an established tree next to our new home.  I've been watching, for months, a family of blackbirds explore and create a nest, feed and start to fledge their young family.

This morning I was awoken with the awful distress sound of the blackbirds.  Both parents were trying to stop an evil magpie who was attacking their fully fledged chick.  I ran out, rescued the poor soul, put him in a shoebox lined with shredded paper but a less than an hour later he sadly died (not that he had any visible injuries) who likely died from the shock.

I can understand nature taking it's course and birds are killed by sparrow hawks and the like for food.  Magpie's to me seem to be vermin, killing for fun.  This poor chick was less than three weeks old and we witnessed his last breath.

I keep thinking of the poor little soul, resting in my hands, his heart racing.  Magpie's are vile.

  • Magpies, vile? Really? What does that make our species, then?

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • As difficult as it is, you and the blackbirds are better off letting nature take its course.

    Magpies eat birds. Often, they end up catching something and doing all the hard work for a crow to then come along and take it off them. But, like it or not, magpies eat birds.

    As is often the case, human intervention ends up with a mangled bird that dies in vain. The body has gone to waste in this case, and all that's happened is the magpie then has to catch something else, possibly a sibling.

    The other factor to bear in mind is that without magpies (and crows), there would be huge numbers of blackbirds about. They have multiple broods. Keeping alive all the young is mistaken hope and unrealistic. There isn't the habitat for 10+ extra blackbirds per family per year.
  • To be honest, when folk say that they consider particular birds vile or they hate them with a vengeance (including some of my friends and neighbours) they often don't understand about the species or how the natural world works in reality; birds like magpies are killing to eat and survive and not killing for pleasure and they have to feed themselves and their offspring as they can't nip to McDonalds !! I agree, it is not nice to see and can be very upsetting but the best thing you can do is when you see a bird caught by another bird is to simply turn around and walk away and let nature take its natural cause. My husband caught sight of a beautiful looking Sparrowhawk sitting on our garden fence behind the shed and by some shrubs.... it remained there as my husband stood still watching it but he was unaware the hawk had its eyes on a male blackbird who was foraging on the ground. The Sparrowhawk jumped down, grabbed the blackbird much to the shock of my husband who took one step closer to the hawk but then quickly realised it would only cause further agony to the blackbird so he backed away and came indoors to avoid seeing the bird despatched. The blackbird would have suffered greatly had he intervened further and scared the hawk away; it would have had an agonising death and the hawk would have gone hungry and would have had to kill another bird so two birds would have died instead of one. I understand it is not easy to see this happen and our human protection instincts can kick in thinking you are rescuing that bird but you will even see on TV's Springwatch that they will tell you the same and its all part of what should and is intended to happen in nature to keep the balance of numbers of birds at a sustainable level. If all birds survived you would see very many more birds suffering as food would be in increasingly short supply; when nature steps in it keeps the natural balance. Please don't think too badly of a prey bird trying to feed itself as the supermarket isn't an option for them.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Why do some folk insist on giving human traits to wild animals. That Magpie was doing what comes natural , feeding its offspring no feeling of hatred involved. It's how nature works, it just
    gets on until with things until we interfere. Sorry if those remarks upset people but that's just my feeling.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • andylee_me_uk said:

    We are blessed with having an established tree next to our new home.  I've been watching, for months, a family of blackbirds explore and create a nest, feed and start to fledge their young family.

    This morning I was awoken with the awful distresse sound of the blackbirds.  Both parents were trying to stop an evil magpie who was attacking their fully fledged chick.  I ran out, rescued the poor soul, put him in a shoebox lined with shredded paper but a less than an hour later he sadly died (not that he had any visible injuries) who likely died from the shock.

    I can understand nature taking it's course and birds are killed by sparrow hawks and the like for food.  Magpie's to me seem to be vermin, killing for fun.  This poor chick was less than three weeks old and we witnessed his last breath.

    I keep thinking of the poor little soul, resting in my hands, his heart racing.  Magpie's are vile.

    Well what about Raptors, Owls etc. This is what happens with wildlife on this planet from the smallest insect up to the largest feature on this planet.

    Regards,

    Ian.

  • Andy, nature can be harsh at times, it basically works on the basis of hunt and be hunted, that is natures way of keeping the numbers just right, and the predators will clear up after the others have gone, that's why rarely we see any dead birds, or other creatures lying around, apart from those where human intervention has taken part.

    Those magpies have to eat, they're a carrion bird, which basically mean they feed on the flesh of other animals, not just birds.

    When you think about it, the blackbirds are not much less 'vile' to use your words, for they will pull worms out the ground, eat insects and lots more, so do robins, blue tits like fleshy green caterpillars, which could become colourful invertebrates, and there are lots more examples.

    Its the circle of life, and we as a species need to learn to understand, accept and live in harmony with it.

    Sorry to be so harsh, but that is nature, that is life, but its not an excuse for us to treat nature as a commodity or abuse it.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler