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Getting rid of magpies in an urban garden.


 
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frank4short
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:23 am    Post subject: Getting rid of magpies in an urban garden. Reply with quote

In the last year or so the number of magpies around my house & garden seems to have multiplied exponentially. In the process they're scaring off all of the other birds & wildlife. I've searched on here & most of solutions appear to of a more rural nature e.g. using shotguns. Now this is frankly not possible where i live in suburban dublin.

Can anyone give any tips in how to get rid of them but not scare off the other small birds as the hanging shiny things or dummy birds of prey suggestions would appear to do. Only other solution i can think of is poison though i imagine this will as likely have a seriously detrimental affect on the local cat & fox population as the magpie population.

So any thoughts on what to do? All suggestions welcome.
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My neighbour recently got rid of the local magpies by borrowing a "Magpie Trap".

It had three sections of caging; a non-local magpie in the middle one and an empty cage on either side. The two outside cages were occupied in minutes.

Don't know where you could buy one though.

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Sean Ph'lib
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure about this whole magpie business. I don't think they have any serious effect on small bird populations. I have several magpies - in fact they nested in the garden this (and last) year- and my garden teems with birds. Too many, in fact! Blackbirds are now so plentiful that they are a serious pest in the fruit garden and there are constantly fifty or more house sparrows helping themselves to the hens' oats. Possibly it might be different in an urban setting though. For my part, I'd like a few more magpies!
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Guelder
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have problems with the magpie trapping too. People seem to get fixations with magpies for some reason. Can't find a link right now, but from what I've read the threat they pose is not that significant. The other point is that no more than people who bait rats in a garden, by killing one all you're doing is creating a niche for another to fill. Sure you might make more progress in damaging the magpie population than the rats, but ultimately as long as the reason for them to come into your garden exists, they will return.
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting link here.

http://www.birdcare.com/birdon/birdcare/tipsheets/magpies.html

Notice how at the end it says there were no magpies in Ireland before the end of the 17th century. Now there are 320,000 territories. (Dunno who counted them though.)

I used to see magpies regularly strutting down our back lawn with a freshly killed young bird in their beak. Now that our lawn has been replaced by a pond, there are no more magpies but loads of wagtails and swallows instead.

Wagtails are very friendly birds and our swallows have no problem whooshing past within an inch of your ear.

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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guelder wrote:
........................


I like your Evogarden site. And the native trees bit.

I think everything we have in our garden is native or New Zealand (which in an oddball sort of way is kind of native too!)

Did you know that if you dug a hole straight down through your garden and kept on digging, right through the centre of the earth, and kept on going, that you would eventually come out under the sea just south-east of the New Zealand coastline. (Just another bit of useless info!)

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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think the research shows that they have little effect on songbird population; plus, if it was a raptor going after songbirds, people wouldn't mind.

eanna ni lamhna in one of her books explains that one reason posited for the dislike of magpies is that they supposedly arrived with cromwell.
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frank4short
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They may not have an effect on the song birds but on any given day there's between 4 & 8 of the little barstewards & annecdotally i can't help but feel they are reducing the number of song birds. That & the fact they're a bit of a nuisance, which I'd rather not have to deal with in such large numbers. If there were 1 or 2 I'd happily put up with them but the number there are, are quite off putting.
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Foxylock
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't it better to see a pair of magpies at any given time. " One for sorrow two for joy " and all that. Laughing
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Sarah Evans
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An informative link to the issue

http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/Advice/FAQ/MagpieFAQ/tabid/374/Default.aspx

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