crows regularly harrassing magpies whilst they are constructing their nest

Over the past three weeks or so I have been watching a pair of magpies building their nest in a poplar tree near my garden.  However, on a number of occasions each day, two crows move in (even going into the nest) and remain there for several minutes.  There isn't a lot a squabbling, but the magpies slowly move back in and the crows fly away.  I would like to know:  Have others witnessed such events?  Who may win in the end?  If the magpies mate and then have their nest taken off them, what would happen?

I look forward to hearing any comments on this subject.

  • I am assuming the 2 crows are (jackdaws) if so they are probably

    stealing nesting material from the magpies, or they may be waiting

    for the mags to do the hard work, then move in.

  • Hi magpiewatcher

    Welcome to the Community. :-)

    One pair of birds will win the nest and the nest site, and the other pair will have to move on and start a new nest elsewhere.

    It might be that the magpies will lose their nest, or possibly the jackdaws will give up and go elsewhere.

    Either way, there is nothing you can do about it. :-)

    Best wishes Chris

    Click Here to see my photos

  • In reply to Woodpecker:

    We have a number of crow pairs on this road. They never come to our garden, although rooks, magpies and jackdaws do. Nor do they bother the other corvids EXCEPT in Spring, when suddenly jackdaws are NOT ALLOWED in this garden. Every so often a crow will swoop through at high speed, scattering the jackdaws. I think in Spring the crows become less tolerant of other corvid species being around - presumably too much competition for nest sites and food.

    A closed mouth gathers no foot.

  • Crows and magpies are often involved in aggressive encounters, crows usually being the aggressors. Whether its over territory or a food source or nesting material you can be sure that during the nesting season, these species are not very tolerant of each other at all. It may be that the crows are nesting nearby and are trying to prevent the magpies from establishing a nest close to their territory.

    Keep us informed of the events if you can, it will be interesting to see if the crows out muscle the magpies or if the magpies stand fast against this harassment.

    Warden Intern at Otmoor.

  • Hi Magpiewatcher

    I have recently become interested in these beautiful birds when a pair decided to nest in a tree at the end of the garden. I have watched them for several weeks getting the materials for their nest which I think is now complete. The nest site is in a thick conifer and the nest is not visible from the ground. The pair usually have a bit of a chatter throughout the day but today there was an almighty din coming from the tree and suddenly I saw a crow fly out of the tree followed closely by one magpie which was obviously giving chase. The magpie attacked the crow by dive-bombing it's back and the crow then alighted on the house roof followed by the magpie. They seemed to stare each other out for about 30 seconds and then the crow took off. I think that the crow returned once or twice today but the magpie pair are still in possession at the moment. It will be interesting to see what develops day by day. I will keep posting............................

  • Hi Magpiewatcher

    I have recently become interested in these beautiful birds when a pair decided to nest in a tree at the end of the garden. I have watched them for several weeks getting the materials for their nest which I think is now complete. The nest site is in a thick conifer and the nest is not visible from the ground. The pair usually have a bit of a chatter throughout the day but today there was an almighty din coming from the tree and suddenly I saw a crow fly out of the tree followed closely by one magpie which was obviously giving chase. The magpie attacked the crow by dive-bombing it's back and the crow then alighted on the house roof followed by the magpie. They seemed to stare each other out for about 30 seconds and then the crow took off. I think that the crow returned once or twice today but the magpie pair are still in possession at the moment. It will be interesting to see what develops day by day. I will keep posting............................

  • In reply to Trooper:

    I have a pair of crows that visit daily to gromph suet pellets and a magpie who does the same. Neither is actually nest IN my garden to my knowledge (and I think I'd know as there are limited sites and they are so noisy) but they could well be in the scrubby woodland behind or they may have chosen one of the great oaks that are dotted about the parkland where there's also a rookery. I will keep a close eye to see if I can spot any corvid wars. It hard to see what's going on in the woodland as there is a line of trees and shrubs that form a kind of wall for most of our boundary and they effectively block any view once they're in leaf but there is one small area where I might get a peek. I find corvid behaviour fascinating:-))

  • In reply to Kezsmum:

    Hi Magpiewatcher,

    Very interested in your thread and lots of interesting replies!

    Could you confirm whether it's carrion crows doing the hijacking, or jackdaws as others are suggesting?

    The reason I ask is that I would think that a pair of magpies could easily see off a pair of jackdaws - when threat posturing they look rather bigger than jackdaws because of their broader wings & long tail.

    Also jackdaws are hole/crevice nesters - magpies & carrion crows are tree nesters.

    :-)

    Andy

    Seriously thinking about trying harder!

  • In reply to Jackdaw:

    Patricia M said:

    Hi Magpiewatcher,

    Very interested in your thread and lots of interesting replies!

    Could you confirm whether it's carrion crows doing the hijacking, or jackdaws as others are suggesting?

    The reason I ask is that I would think that a pair of magpies could easily see off a pair of jackdaws - when threat posturing they look rather bigger than jackdaws because of their broader wings & long tail.

    Also jackdaws are hole/crevice nesters - magpies & carrion crows are tree nesters.

    :-)

    Andy

    Hi Jackdaw - The bird harrassing the maggies in my garden looks twice the size of them! Got to report all quiet on the Western Front today but Mr Magpie is constantly on guard.

  • In reply to Trooper:

    Trooper said:

    Hi Jackdaw - The bird harrassing the maggies in my garden looks twice the size of them! Got to report all quiet on the Western Front today but Mr Magpie is constantly on guard.

    Hi Trooper,

    If your harrassers look jet black and as big as you say, they'll be carrion crows.

    Still waiting to hear from Magpiewatcher!

    :-)

    Andy

    Seriously thinking about trying harder!