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Are magpies bad for the garden?


By Hazel

Gloucestershire, United Kingdom Gb

We have a pair of magpies making a very untidy-looking nest in the hawthorn tree at the bottom of our garden. I seem to remember hearing my dad mutter about magpies being awful birds and trying to trap/destroy them....I was in my ignorance quite happy to let the birds get on with their nest building and let live, but is that the right thing to do? Are magpies really that bad? Thanks!



Hi Hazel - Magpies have a bad name because they raid the nests of other birds, taking both eggs and chicks. However, I think it is important to remember that they are native birds who have been here since before people arrived and are as much a part of our wildlife as any other animal, albeit a preditor near the top of the foodchain. They are highly intelligent birds (as are all the crow family) and personally, I don't think they deserve the persecution they attract. On the gardening front, to my knowledge, they don't do any harm whatsoever. If I were you, I'd just enjoy watching them nest and bring up their chicks. Sarah.

26 Mar, 2008


I totaly agree Go ahead&enjoy them Nesting,If we didnt let any unliked animals breed there would be nothing left on the Planet! Everybodys got their hates&likes :)

26 Mar, 2008


I have about 10 magpies in and around the garden they are comical to watch. There does not seem to be any probs with the other birds. We have a variety of well fed birds visiting. The only bird that they do not get on with is a crow that comes down onto my shed each morning for its bread. If a magpie lands it gets a good peck so live and let live but keep feeding . I hang a fat ball on a hook on the inside of the bird table and a magpie sits for ages pecking at it, rather like a boxer on a punch bag !

26 Mar, 2008


Thank you all for helping me decide- I am so glad I can just leave the magpie pair to get on with their nest building and enjoy their antics.

They are certainly big hefty birds, and get through quite a lot of the food and water i put out on the bird table.

As yet they do not seem to be bothering the other birds and, as you say, it will be good to be able to watch them nesting and raising their young. I don't think I have ever seen a baby magpie....are they black and white, too?

26 Mar, 2008


i also have a nesting pair of magpies at the back of my house. have to say i love seening them come back every year and rearing their young.

26 Mar, 2008


We have quite a lot of maggies in our immediate vicinity. They kick up a right fuss when feeling threatened so they tell me where my cat is when she's out on the prowl. Like Dibber says they're funny with their acrobatics when feeding. They tend to leap up and down to get at the fatballs I put in the trees or splatter food from the bird table over the lawn. But that's o k because it allows the groundfeeding birds a look in. I like them, they're part of nature, part of life. Enjoy,Hazel!

27 Mar, 2008

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