Magpies attacking blackbird and nest

  • In reply to Sooty:


    So what you're saying is that the Magpie population is being maintained at an artificially high level by the year round availability of roadkill. One could equally argue that the population of small songbirds is being maintained at an artificially high level by lots of people (me included) feeding them for a large part of the year, and erecting nestboxes. 

    Lots of species are being helped along. Every year tens of thousands of captive bred Pheasants are dumped into the countryside to compete with wildlife for resources (or get shot),  Rats, Gulls, assorted Corvids, Red Kites, and others cash in on edible human waste at landfill sites and in the streets.  Ospreys are eternally grateful for trout farms, Cormorants appreciate inland coarse fisheries.  I've even seen Turnstones pecking contentedly around under benches in coastal resorts. It's not shellfish they're looking for - It's pasty and chips. 

    You state that "small birds are declining and all of [sic] people who work out in the country agree on that fact". Can we have verifiable evidence of this level of consensus please? Incidentally not all small birds are declining.  


    Every day a little more irate about bird of prey persecution, and I have a cat - Got a problem with that?

  • In reply to John B (not the sloop):

    John B think you well know that the RSPB and almost everyone agrees that most small birds are declining and would be declining even faster if were not fed in gardens.Probably several of the others you mention have been a problem and have had to be controlled or will become a problem even as you mention Cormorants can now under certain circumstances.Once human activity on this planet reached a certain level many decades ago the system of letting everything set its own level was obsolete as a example we would definitely be overrun with one that you mention which is rats if they were not controlled.

  • In reply to Sooty:


    I hear you - if a wildlife species inconveniences us or we disapprove of what it's doing then it needs controlling. I don't really have a problem with selective controlling of species populations where they pose a clear and present danger to health/safety, or there is an sound evidence based environmental/species protection reason for doing so.  Magpies (where this exchange started) don't fall into either category.  They consume eggs and nestlings of other species and always have done, so do many other species. 

    If convincing verifiable evidence ever emerges that  Magpies have a significant effect, at national/regional level on small bird populations then I might accept that their numbers (Magpies, not small birds) are too high and need managing. I can't however accept that Magpies need controlling because some people  think they have bad habits and that there are too many of them..

    I'm not disposed to comment further on this thread, so please feel free to have the last word.



    Every day a little more irate about bird of prey persecution, and I have a cat - Got a problem with that?

  • In reply to John B (not the sloop):

    John B Can guarantee you would feel differently if you owned sheep and lambs and because too many Magpies in the countryside your lambs had their (sic) eyes pecked out but then that is nature,especially if anyone happens to be a vegetarian but even then they would not like to see it i can guarantee.

  • In reply to Sooty:

    Thank you all very much for your replies to my original email - didn't realise what a can of worms I was opening! Have to report that I was away for a few days and returned last night hoping to see the fledglings ready to leave the nest, but sadly the honeysuckle and nest had been ripped from the fence and there was only one very mangled corpse on the ground. The culprit wasn't a magpie - according to neighbours there have been a lot of young foxes in the gardens this weekend and can only deduce that they managed to tear down the trellis, plant and nest the previous evening, as the neighbours had seen the mother feeding the birds up to Monday night. I do feel priveleged that I saw the nest being built, eggs laid, hatched and 10 days of thrilling development. Intend to pay more attention to the birds that come into my garden - have taken them too much for granted previously!

    Best wishes to you all,


  • I can't stand magpies such a disgusting bird who constantly killing our garden songbirds, we have so many small birds who have died in our garden and attached, small birds shells broken on the floor and bodies

    we just buried a sparrow :'( 

  • In reply to fys75688:

    Are you sure it was a sparrow, and that it was killed by a magpie? They regularly kill chicks and newly fledged young, incl sparrows, but aren't known to keep killing adult birds. Too early in the year for young house sparrows now though. If it was a magpie, why did it leave the victim? Cats are the primary killer when bodies are left around the place, which is what you're suggesting is happening in your garden.

  • I have just watched a magpie chase an adult blackbird around the garden blackbird managed to get away this isn’t the first time I’ve seen them after adult birds
  • In reply to Jakeg:

    Hi Jake. I am assuming you are responding to my post above from May 2020?

    Yes, I saw a blackbird chasing and fighting a blackbird this afternoon. They weren't trying to eat each other, which Unless I am misunderstanding, you are suggesting the magpie was trying to do.

    Magpies chase after other birds if they have food they want to steal. Magpies can kill adult birds, but as I said last year, what was described at that time, was cat behaviour not magpie. If a blackbird is injured, I am sure any covid would have a try. Also, blackbirds have nests now. Mine is already rebuilding a second as the first was presumably predated. Your chased blackbird was possibly trying to defend its nest, and was chased off, not because the magpie was trying to eat it, but because it was trying to eat eggs.
  • @JohnB ... no problem with cats. As long as they are on your property they are lovable adorable family members. Once they stray out of those bounds and into my garden, they are considered vermin.

    Got a problem with that?