Nature’s brutal – murderous magpies
So I have an Elder Tree outside my bedroom window. Yesterday afternoon I could hear some blackbirds making a series of loud alarm cheeps. I know this as they do it whenever a cat’s about. I looked out and there were about four or five of them jumping about the tree and then suddenly a magpie rushed out carrying something in its beak with the other blackbirds in hot pursuit over to a tree at the end of the garden. I thought maybe it had some bread or something. Then about 15 mins later it happened again but I was standing by the window and could hear a shrill cheep as the magpie flew past and some legs dangling out of its beak. I then realised it was raiding a nest in the tree. I knew a couple of wood pigeons were nesting in there so assumed it must have taken their chick.
Then when things had quietened down a bit I noticed a female blackbird standing on a prominent position at the edge of the tree making what I thought was the sound of a chick, very quiet and quite high pitched.
Then it happened again, the magpie returned and I could see it prowling through the canopy with the din of the blackbirds filling the air. The magpie flew onto the roof of the house and then dropped one of the chicks on the patio, and again another chick taken with a loud screeching noise on the ground of the garden next door and then again in the other neighbour’s garden lawn.
This now explains why I found a dead chick in the garden a week or so back, originally thinking it was the cat that likes to shit on the flower beds.
Pretty sure they were blackbird chicks although I’m not sure if the woodpigeon’s chick was taken in the process.
But there are a number of questions in my mind about this slaughter.
Firstly was it a set up? Was the female blackbird deliberately exposing other blackbirds nests?
Why would a magpie kill chicks but not eat them?
There have been a couple of male blackbirds that have been bickering in the back garden over the past couple of days so perhaps the female blackbird had had enough.
I think this has been an exceptional year so far for nesting birds as I’ve never known so many to be nesting in that tree at once so perhaps there’s more competition amongst birds this year.
Glad I got that off my chest. It was quite disturbing as you may well imagine.Posted 2 years agoPosted 2 years ago
FYI – There is an account on Instagram called natureismetal (metal not mental) and posts up clips of stuff like thisPosted 2 years ago
They nest in a tree in our garden every year and wreak havoc with the other birdies.Posted 2 years ago
I despise them. If I had an air rifle I’d happily dispatch them. Horrible, horrible creatures…Posted 2 years ago
We have a starling nest in our eaves and recently a couple of magpies have been hanging around on the roof. I’m assuming they’re waiting to pounce when the chicks emerge from the nest, as I would imagine magpies are too big to get into the eaves.Posted 2 years ago
A farming friend of mine had a Larsen trap in his garden once when i went around. Ingenious thing that harnesses magpie’s territorial instincts.Posted 2 years ago
Death is a perfectly normal part of life. Animals are busy killing other animals (to eat mostly) all day long.
It’s distressing to those being killed and those helpless to stop it but it’s not going to change. It’s very, very sad.
Just be glad that our species doesn’t suffer very high levels of predation.
I sound heartless (I’m not) but I think we all need to honest and realistic in our understanding and admiration of the natural world.Posted 2 years ago
I always made me laugh in the Dectetorists when Lance is trying to work out how to live catch the magpies. I can’t think of an animal or bird that is easier to trap.Posted 2 years ago
Works both ways. There is a magpie nest in the tree next door. Couple of years ago we heard loud sqwuawking and looked out to see a crow flying away with a magpie chick in it’s beak. Nature.Posted 2 years ago
Yep, the blackbird nest in our hedge just lost all 3 eggs to magpies.
Annoying, but natural. *?*?* pet cats on the other hand I could happily ban from the world.Posted 2 years ago
They really aren’t monochrome, but you probably know that?Posted 2 years ago
Works both ways. There is a magpie nest in the tree next door. Couple of years ago we heard loud sqwuawking and looked out to see a crow flying away with a magpie chick in it’s beak. Nature.
Has anyone watched Springwatch? There are a number of birds that will predate other birds nests, woodpeckers in particular will do it, but corvids do, crows and rooks mob ravens which they see as a predator, but they’ll do it themselves, seagulls are terrible predators of other birds; I’ve seen a video of one of the Hyde Park pelicans scoop up and swallow a pigeon!Posted 2 years ago
They really aren’t monochrome
They are to me. I’m colour blind.Posted 2 years ago
rooks mob ravens
Round our way the rooks mob the red kites. Both amazing but different types of flyer so its really something to watch. Like messerchmits attacking a Lancaster.Posted 2 years ago
Magpies used to rule the roost around here for years, decimating the local blackbirds, thrushes, sparrows etc. and then the crows moved in. The crows put the Magpies in their place and the crows don’t seem to target the small birds in the same way the Magpies did. Nature is wonderful if a bit brutal at times.Posted 2 years ago
I’m getting a Harris Hawk from e-bay.
That’ll learn ’emPosted 2 years ago
Robins are pretty brutal to other robins. They sometimes fight each other to the death.
But they look cute so nobody calls them thugs or wants to shoot them with an air rifle.Posted 2 years ago
Magpies are little gits
Jays are way betterer. They’re corvid eye-candy( if you ignore their less frequent dining on nestlings).Posted 2 years ago
Argue Every Toss!
Gossip, Bicker, Yak and Snicker All Day Long!
Pick a fight in an empty room.
Interrupt, interject, intercept, intervene!
Every Magpie for every Magpie against every other walking, flying, swimming, creeping creature on earth….
Posted 2 years ago
Jackdaws are bigger bastards. The gang of youths in ill fitting tracksuit bottoms of the bird world.Posted 2 years ago
I shoot or attempt to shoot everyone that lands here.Hate them with a vengeance and they deserve killing just for the horrible noise they make.Any cats that want to take a shortcut are shown the error of their ways by the resident Lurcher so i have a garden chock full of songbirds all able to rear their young with a bit of extra feeding from us.Posted 2 years ago
Feeding a young family of Robins with live mealworms is a joy and something those black and white bastards will not spoil.
On a more humorous note I saw a seagull having a fight with its own reflection today.Posted 2 years ago
I like Magpies and corvids in general. Nature’s petty cruel sadly and they’re no worse than any predatory creature; far less brutal & murderous that hungry humans (try following through when those lovely fluffy lambs we love watching this time of year go through the slaughterhouse).
Feeding a young family of Robins with live mealworms is a joy
Undoubtedly but it’s pretty brutal from the point of view of the mealworm.Posted 2 years ago
Here’s a thing. Maybe someone can explain it to me (though I probably know the answer). I live in a narrow mountain valley and know of no nearby nesting Red Kites. They are around but just not that local. BUT as sure a night follows day, within 30 minutes of me starting to mow a field of grass with the tractor there will be one there swooping low over me to check out whether any rabbits, frogs or rodents are getting minced by the machine. I can go 6 months without seeing one and then, there he is. I love them, and it really lifts my spirits to see them there proper close up. And then suddenly they will just disappear again. Presumably to check out some other farmer to see if there are any pickings there.Posted 2 years ago
Got a raven here at the moment who has single-handedly murdered 2 of my lambs and several of my neighbours’ (lambs, not people). Little bastard.
A raven eats a lamb? Wow!Posted 2 years ago
A raven eats a lamb? Wow!
Well he doesn’t eat much of it, there is generally a large hole in the body cavity just below the ribs. I think they may only take the liver as it appears to be their modus operandi!Posted 2 years ago
One of our ducklings was scooped up by a magpie on Saturday. Carried out over the back fence and into a neighbours yard. We heard a big squabble there and figured that was it. 10 minutes later another neighbour came round… they’d been sitting in their back garden (60m from other garden) when a magpie had flown over and dropped a duckling by their feet! They’d come round to return the duckling, none the worse for wear!Posted 2 years ago
Win for the duckling!
As horrible as it seems its just the way of the world, I find it difficult to get worked up about wild animals doing wild things.
Remember someone at work stumbled upon a weasel and a crow fighting over a (rabbit) kitten. That was still very much alive. They scarpered when he went over but the stupid rabbit just stayed where it was until it got a gentle boot up the arse. The weasel, to its credit, did hang about nearby for another chance.Posted 2 years ago
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