do magpies eat other birds eggs

In the UK, we have the well-known Eurasian magpie. This is a very distinctive black and white bird that comes from the Corvidae family. Unfortunately, they can be trouble for poultry keepers. Magpies will steal chicken’s eggs and even kill chicks and young birds if they can get to them.

Magpies can kill chicks and young birds, but magpies can steal or eat eggs from nest boxes inside chicken houses as well when you’re not around.

The magpie is smart; in fact, they are considered one of the most intelligent animals in the world and the only non-mammal to be able to recognise itself in a mirror, so no wonder they have figured out how to get a nutritious meal our of our nest boxes!

Magpies also have amazing eyesight. If you see a magpie in the garden and approach the window, they will normally see you and fly off, so this makes them hard to shoot if you have one stealing your eggs and are that way inclined.

It is actually true that since the Second World War, the management of 70% of Britain’s land surface has changed, erasing habitats and making it difficult for many native birds to survive.

Most probably not. Therefore, there won’t be much progress made by the Sporting Shooter editors’ call to arms. The magazine claims that the black and white birds are decimating our beloved songbird populations, so it is giving away a £500 prize to the person who kills the most magpies between now and the end of July.

It is unlikely that the predatory instinct of magpies is negatively affecting songbird populations. In fact, there are a wide range of genuine causes for the declines in songbird populations in Britain.

According to Andre Farrar, a representative of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, “the magpie is just a scapegoat.”

“As an illustration, consider skylarks, a ground-nesting bird that may be susceptible to magpie predation,” suggests Farrar. “The switch from spring-sown to winter-sown cereals is the cause of the decline in skylark populations because the crop is too high for the birds to nest in.” So they dont produce enough young, so their population falls. The answer is to take steps to create areas in the crop where birds can find food. “.

A drop in egg numbers

I discovered firsthand that you can lose up to a dozen eggs a day when watching a couple of magpies feed their young. Initially, I believed my hens were laying fewer eggs, but I was unable to identify the reason. It was May, the month when my hens typically laid a lot of eggs. But it didn’t take long to realize that something was stealing eggs from the nest boxes. Next to my chicken runs, I discovered some empty eggshells in the fields. Later, I discovered a broken egg in the coop.

I put up a Trail Camera inside a chicken coop to catch the guilty party in the act after purchasing one on Amazon to record some of the local wildlife, including foxes that were approaching the fence of my poultry run at night!

As you can see in the opening moments, our thief, dressed in black and white, was entering the coop and taking out bantam-sized chicken eggs. As you can see from his subsequent visits near the end of the clip, he was eating the contents of the nest boxes and puncturing holes in the larger eggs, even though he was able to carry a few off.

How to stop magpies stealing or eating chickens’ eggs

First, it goes without saying that the best course of action is to regularly gather eggs throughout the day and avoid leaving them outside while doing chores (it’s easy to forget about them and accidentally attract a crow or magpie).

A magpie’s chances of finding eggs decrease as fewer eggs remain in nest boxes; if he is unable to locate any, he will eventually give up.

It’s easier said than done, though, if your hens aren’t at home during the day or they lay all day, then perhaps more extreme measures are needed.

do magpies eat other birds eggs

Because the techniques listed below entail killing the magpie, some people may find them offensive. If this is not something you are comfortable with, please click away now.

Even though it’s not everyone’s preferred solution, shooting a magpie will definitely end egg theft issues immediately. Underneath their feathers, the bird appears quite large, but in reality, it has a relatively small body. An air rifle is adequate to kill them humanely.

Although selecting an air rifle is outside the purview of this piece, in order to achieve a humane kill, a 22 caliber legal powered air rifle that fires hunting pellets and compressed air

Air rifle pellets travel in a curved path from the rifle’s end to the target, just like all bullets do. You will see more “drop” of the pellet on the target the farther you are from it. It is imperative that you use an appropriate paper target to fine-tune your rifle scope or sights beforehand.

My rifle is calibrated to hit a target in the center of the crosshairs at a distance of approximately 30 yards, which is known as my “kill range.” I don’t try shots beyond this because the pellet drops significantly and is more likely to miss or clip the target.

The ideal location to “zero” your rifle is frequently an upstairs window in your home that is 20 to 30 yards from a location where you frequently see magpies and has a safe backdrop (the pellet must land safely if you miss).

Their keen vision allows me to shoot from the window when I leave it open. You can carefully point the rifle out the window when the magpie turns away or disappears behind a tree, but be careful—they frequently notice you and take off!


Do magpies steal eggs from other birds?

Some people do not like magpies because they steal other birds’ babies and eggs. They also take things that they want, like food or objects. Magpies look black and white from a long way away. When you are close to them, you can see their wings have a blue shine and their tails look green.

How do you stop magpies from eating eggs?

How to stop magpies stealing or eating chickens’ eggs. Firstly, the obvious solution is to collect eggs regularly throughout the day and not leave eggs around outside while performing your chores (it’s easy to forget them and unintentionally attract a magpie or crow).

What birds steal other birds eggs?

Crows and other corvids (magpies, jackdaws, rooks, ravens and jays) are probably the most common predators of bird nests.

Do magpie birds eat other birds?

They will attack and eat other full grown birds. They have little fear. They don’t always eat the birds they behead, so it’s thought to be territorial. Are fledgling magpies often very small, maybe half the size of an adult magpie to begin with?