Whilst we were walking the dogs tonight, I saw the sight which really makes me want to cull every magpie I see. Might sound a bit harsh, but the black and white vermin systematically terrorise, murder and destroy as many song bird nests as they can.
Luckily, gamekeepers do take on the challenge in the Newbury area and on our local estates, the Keepers are very good at trapping them and keep the numbers down, but it is an up-hill battle. The traps we use are called Larson traps and basically you “bait” it with a live Magpie, and then other passing magpies come to spar with this captive one, then get trapped themselves. There is strict legislation in place for the use of Larson Traps, which protest the captive birds (which is a good thing), and the humane dispatch of the captured ones.
So what did these magpies do to provoke such a reaction? 2 magpies were cackling and attacking quite a thick hedge, one was distracting the parent chaffinch, whilst the other one was pulling the nest out of the hedge and eating the eggs. It was too late to do anything but scare them off and protect the distraught chaffinch from almost certain death defending her battered and destroyed nest. I hope she has time to nest again in a better place.
The nest was dropped on the floor, so I thought I would share some pictures with you – it was made from moss, horse hair, rabbit fur, feathers and hay – a real work of art.
As kids, we used to go searching for birds nests, mark them and just watch them until they hatched, grew into adults and flew off. I doubt the kids today would have a clue what to look for and where to look….shame this is all being lost to Gameboys!
If you too dislike magpies and want to take some action against them, call Rapid Pest Control now.