Magpies nesting?


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Magpies nesting?

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I've got a pair of magpies nesting in a tree. I know that the blackbirds and the dunnocks were nesting in my hedge.

Will the magpies put off the nesters? Will the birds who come to my feeders be put off by the magpies being there?

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  • Hi Lyndsey,

    The short answer to both is, generally,  no. Have a gander at this:

    Hope this helps.

  • Sad to say but my experience of Magpies in a area means local nests likely to get eggs or nestlings taken.

  • Hello Sooty,


    Sad to say but my experience of Magpies in a area means local nests likely to get eggs or nestlings taken.

    Confirming that other species are not discouraged from nesting by the presence of Magpies, irrespective of local levels of nest predation! Q.E.D.

  • Well the Dunnocks and Blackbirds still have their nests in my hedge!!!


    Magpies seem to be very territorial!! The BB Gang (my starlings) only have to land on any of my feeders for the magpies to attack. They also have a go at any feeding blackbirds. I've had to hide the mealworms I put out for the nesters under my hedge which has a sortof wire thingy that stops the magpies getting at the mealworms. The magpies also terrorise my ring necked doves but don't seem too bothered by the woodpidgeons? Odd or what.

    My other birds now sneak up to the feeders by hiding in the shrubs and then darting out to eat. the only ones who seem to take no notice of the magpies is my robin pair who just carry on gathering mealworms for their young as if nothing has happened!!!!

    Overall my garden is much much quieter since the magpies decided tht my tree was a good place to nest.

    Hmmmm think I'd rather the magpies had nested elsewhere!!!

  • Hi Lyndsey,

    I wouldn't let it worry you too much, it's just a fully functioning ecosystem that you have. If you're worried about nest predation, then your "suplementary feeding" may well reduce the likelihood of this happening.

    One interesting fact, that's rarely mentioned, is that vertebrate material only makes up about 11% of Magpies diet, including carrion! The figure falls significantly outside of the nesting season. The other 89% consists of invertebrates and plant material. Many individual Magpies may never actually predate a nest in their entire lives.

    If you can get hold of a copy, have a look at Tim Birkhead's The Magpies (Poyser). It's a fantastic book.

    All the best,


  • Fanks MC

    I am actually a great beleiver in "natures way" believe it or not - its just i've put a lots of time effort and money into getting birds into the garden so am a tad down about the magpies. BUT they are interesting and I do enjoy them - its just I dont get to enjoy the others as well.

    have found the book on amazon - good job I could get it secondhand!!!! Don't fancy £32.00!! Lmao


  • Update on the Magpies!!!!!!

    Welll, they swoop down and terrorise offf any intruders into "their territory" including MY DOG!!!!!!!

    However .........

    The BB Gang (starlings) still come down for mealworms  (see other posts i've got LOADS of live ones) but they do check out for the M'pies which is quie funny!!! The robins have gone but I do think they raised their young (they visited every 10 mins or so for mealworms and suddenly stopped so I think the nestlings fledged and the adults won't bring em cos of the magpies) but today i saw 3 robins at the same time so perhaps the parent thinks the fleglings are old enough not to be attractive to the M'pies.

    She's definately nesting i saw them mate a couple of times ( no dirty comments please!! i couldn't help but see when they performed the "act") and she's about 2 weeks away from hatching if the RSPB book is riight about incubation periods.

    The funniest thing is the Blackbirds - they have a pot of mealworms hidden under a leylandi hedge which the M'pies havent found YET!!! but I do have an uptuend hanging basket over just in case!!! BUT the pair collect for thier young, fly off to another part of the garden and start to look around VERY sureptisiosuly(?) and then DISAPEAR!!!! They are obviously trying to keep their nest a secret!!!!

    The magpies are interesting I'm hoping to get some photos soon - I don't do photo's so am waiting on MGH to do his stuff!!!