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
By Hal (Guest Post) 10/02/2005 Flag
Go on the internet. go to search engine "Dogpile" type in Magpie trap you should be able to find what you are looking for there. It is a round chicken wire trap. Catch and release type.
By Deb (Guest Post) 06/07/2006 Flag
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 wks., depending on the time of year. Note: I tried using the thin plastic silo feeders which worked for awhile, but were eventually torn apart by either the squirrels or magpies/crows. It's worth spending the extra money ($30.00 Can.) 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.
By karen (Guest Post) 07/31/2007 Flag
How can I get rid of the magpies but keep the rest of the birds?
By (Guest Post) 08/13/2007 Flag
Good quality accurate air rifle, leave the first magpie carcus out on the ground
and the others will come down to it, you can pick those off as they land. Its the only reliable way of clearing them out.
By desert sand (Guest Post) 02/15/2008 Flag
Is there any way of feeding magpies some sort of contraceptive to stop them breeding? This would solve the problem in a year or two.
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 use a slingshot with wristbrace but the ammo i use are silver jawbreakers, just in case a neighbors window gets hit then the ammo melts away with the rain. and if the ammo is found then all that is said is "damn kids." and i've found that if you hang a few 4" disco balls with the small mirrors around the yard, that discourages the magpies because they don't like the moving reflective lights.
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.