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We have all sorts of beautiful birds in our backyard: finches, wrens, quail, robins, and they all seem to get along just fine. We enjoy watching them and feeding them. But now a group of magpies has settled in the area and chase the birds away from their feeders, and will even divebomb our dogs if they get too close! Any idea on how to chase the magpies away but without killing them and to ensure that the rest of the birdies stay?
Nicole from Ontario
I had a similar problem with magpies and squirrels eating the largest portion of the birdseed I left out for the little birds. I was filling the birdfeeder every 3 days and spending a lot of money on seed.
Finally, I went to Walmart and found a silo shaped feeder made out of plexiglass (or some sort of thick plastic). It has several ports in it that only small birds can access.
The crows and magpies don't even try. I only have to fill the birdfeed every 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the time of year.
Note: I tried using the thin plastic silo feeders which worked for a while, but were eventually torn apart by either the squirrels or magpies and crows. It's worth spending the extra money ($30.00) to get a sturdy one.
Now all I have to do is try to figure out how to keep the magpies out of the suet feeder.
We have this problem as well and the folk at our City (Calgary) helpline recommended the following (humane) options.
Keep a loaded water gun handy on the deck and shoot the birds whenever you see them. (Pellets or scatter shot from other types of guns could harm neighbours.)
Plant marigolds. Magpies are averse to strong odours. Scatter moth balls around your yard.
Ask your butcher for scraps and lace the meat with hot peppers or pepper spray. You may wish to do this only when you can keep an eye on the bait to ensure no other animals or small children come in contact with it.
I found that hanging CDs on the clothes line (so they can spin in the breeze) keeps them away. The reflected light scares them, and does them no harm.
Edbury: A great way of making some use of the many cds we all have accumulated.
I feel really hateful to magpies in our garden, other years they have killed the parent of babies in our bird box and the babies died. We now have a next across the road and we are pestered with Magpies all the time, I hate them, I just want to stop them from eating all the small birds food.
Sweet idea.. Slight problem.. I did that and the birds seemed to like it.. so I put out a few more meat chunks with the hottest hot sauce I could find on it and the mags are still coming around... Hot peppers and hot sauce do NOTHING at least with the mags around my area.. I'm in Calgary and these mags like the hot sauce as much as I do... Go figure... ... lol
The only thing the hot sauce works on are Squirrels... I put a line of Siracha sauce on the deck railing beside and under the tray feeder and when the squirrels came to steal peanuts, their paws and backside got a warm surprise... Good thing: That squirrel is still coming around but no longer going to the food tray :)
They are taking the peanuts that I put out for the Bluejays.. This morning I had 4 mags land on my deck scaring away 2 blues and about half a dozen smaller birds..
We put up 2 cd's hanging from different trees near our feeder last year and it worked great. Now they are back and not afraid of the cd's. We tried moving them but had no success with that. We are trying to get them with a pellet gun but they fly off as soon as they see us. They are smart pests!
I hate them also. They eat my peas! I would shoot every last one of them on our property if only I could get close enough. They are SO wily!
Use a lazer pen, aim at the breast and there gone,l do this when they build there nest too, it keeps them away.