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Garden Birds and the Magpie

Updated on November 21, 2016

Sudden influx of Magpies

Have you noticed the amount of magpies that seem to have appeared in the British garden lately?

Gone are the days when the magpie would be to fearful to come into the garden, especially if it is a small garden for fear of being chased away by the garden owner.

Today, I have looked out of my kitchen window to see five magpies all sat in different areas of the garden taking there turn at the different food stations that are positioned around the perimeter of the fence enclosing my garden.


Magpies everywhere!
Magpies everywhere! | Source

What is it that is intriguing me so much about the Magpie today?

O.k so first thing this morning I put out the normal bird food but also added in some mixed fruit with peanuts for a special treat for my garden birds.

I knew that maybe one or two magpies would visit as they are resident in my area, but when I saw five of them in the garden with the pigeons, robins and collared doves looking on I was astounded!

They may not be the most beautiful to some but to me however on looking at them more closely they are actually quite beautiful in their own right.

With their glossy sleek black long wings and their very peaky bills they are quite fascinating to watch and learn how they work as a group.

It is as if they send signs to one another to ensure that they all get some of the food. Each one in turn came down into the garden from the oak tree and swooped up with the fruit mainly that I had left for all the birds not just them.

I began getting quite frustrated when I noticed that all the other birds that visit my garden were actually sat in the other trees around me looking on and waiting patiently.

Pretty to some but not to others!
Pretty to some but not to others! | Source

The Robin became inpatient and very brazen

Now the Robin who is a very favorite bird to most of us and those who are fortunate enough to have a garden and we know that the Robin is very territorial, the proof was in the watching as the Robin came down and sat on the fence showing disapproval as the Magpie's just kept eating all of the goodies that I had put out.

She kept hopping around the fence, absolutely amazing to watch and the Magpie's did not take a blind bit of notice of her.

But when she actually called her mate to see what was happening with this amazing sight of five magpies in a tiny cottage garden what a sight to see! They both started jumping up and down and sqwaking at the magpies to try to get them to leave the garden.



A favourite for all bird lovers! She was not happy to be invaded by the Magpies and called her mate for help!
A favourite for all bird lovers! She was not happy to be invaded by the Magpies and called her mate for help! | Source

A pair of each of our regular garden visitors watch on in disbelief at the Magpies eating their lovely treats!

Now not only were the Robin's that visit frequently very unhappy at this sight but it appeared to me that the Pigeons, Collared Doves and Blue tits were also not happy.

They all kept swooping down to try to encourage the Magpies out of the garden but the Magpies showed no fear at all. Amazing....

Now I new I had to help the birds there was nothing else for it. Sad, yes maybe I am, I could see no way of ending this dispute or shall I say conflict between the birds other than stepping in myself!


I am not amused!
I am not amused! | Source
And neither are we!!
And neither are we!! | Source

The Blue tits and the long tailed tits did not let the Magpies distract them from their treats! No fear!

It is amazing how the blue birds and the long tailed tits did not seem to be too bothered, they continued feeding at their stations knowing full well that the Magpie's were unable to get onto their feeders.

However, they did make sure that the Magpies were at ground level before perching themselves onto the feeders.

Ha! they can't get my nuts!
Ha! they can't get my nuts! | Source
We're not scared! You can't have our food! Impact in numbers!
We're not scared! You can't have our food! Impact in numbers! | Source

How many varieties of a specific bird have you seen in your garden?

Which of the birds below have you seen more of this year in your garden?

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An idea for keeping the Magpies at bay in the future

I think maybe I will no longer put the bird treats like fruit and peanuts on the ground. Not only will this stop them from coming in droves into the garden but it will make life a lot happier for the other birds.

I am intending to make the fruit and nuts into fat balls by melting lard and letting it cool and then adding the ingredients of nuts and fruit such as raisins (which is all that was different to normal that I put out today) then freezing them in old takeaway trays and putting the tray into clear bags and putting them into the freezer, once hard piercing a small whole and tying string through the hole and hanging them from trees in between branches this should help deter them.

This video will help with making fat balls for the birds!

You could always buy them if you didn't want to make them!

Gone are the days when the Magpie stayed in the fields!

I am not sure whether you will agree that the Magpie is now a firm visitor to the regular garden. I can remember when the only time you saw a Magpie was when you were walking in the country side. What has changed I wonder? Are there to may houses around and not enough open forests for the Magpies to live in in the UK any more or is it just that they have been invited by us humans into the garden by us encouraging them prior to this onslaught of so many?

The only way that I could get the Magpies to go eventually from the garden to enable the smaller birds to eat was to clap my hand really hard a number of times on more than one occasion until they realised that I meant business and didn't return which enabled the other birds to have their full as well.


Now the Squirrels are a different tale all together!

Magpies gone, squirrels appear! It really has been a busy day in my garden!

Go away Magpies it's my turn!!!

Now it's my turn!
Now it's my turn! | Source

© 2015 Trudy Cooper

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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      true, my garden suddenly had been visited by the black crows, stealing my hangers and pegs!

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