Author Topic: Magpies  (Read 3218 times)

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Offline Alfred the Great

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« on: May 31, 2003, 12:06:01 am »
Came back early from holiday last night, looking forward to a lie-in this morning, but woken up by several magpies bickering and making all sorts of noise at about 4.30am! There were also many alarm calls, particularly from blackbirds but also from robins.

Was this a bit of nest raiding? My wife swears she also heard the high pitched sound of nestlings squeaking, so perhaps it was. Do other residents experience this phenomenon? We are at the east end on Great North Road, so maybe our magpies are less well behaved than further into the village!

Would Mr Pyrah care to comment?

I'm not really against magpies as such, but it seems a shame that the normal insect/seed eating birds can't just get on with their lives. It's bad enough having to dodge the felines, without cannibals turning up.

Confucius he say "a dog is for life not just for Christmas Dinner"


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Re: Magpies
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2003, 12:22:34 am »
Dear Alfred,
You have encountered some pretty typical Magpie behaviour. At this time of year, they are often raiding nests for eggs and young. In fact, I caught one in the act of attempting to raid a Blackbird's nest in my hedge just a few days ago.
Magpies actually have very little impact on overall songbird populations. The real enemies are starvation and disease. For example, only 1 in 3 Starlings make it through the first year of their life.
Magpies are often the victims of black propaganda from certain interest groups who wish to divert attention from their own malign influence on songbird populations.  
Incidentally, they are no more cannibals than we are when we eat beef. A magpie is a totally different species vis-a-vis blakbirds etc.