do magpies eat other birds

Black-billed Magpies seem to be birds that raise conflicting feelings among people. As a member of the Covidae family which includes ravens, crows, and jays, they are one of the most intelligent birds. However, in the eyes of some people they are hated. In this blog I will address why various people hate them, as well as why others love or at least like them.

Why Should You Like or Even Love Black-billed Magpies

Because carrion is a part of a magpie’s diet, they contribute to the health of both our planet and humans. The presence of carrion eaters would prevent undesired insects, bacteria, and odors from drawing in carcasses. Therefore, magpies aid in limiting the spread of diseases that could otherwise affect animals, including humans and livestock.

Because they are humorous, astute, and intelligent birds, magpies are entertaining to watch. Magpies will happily visit your yard if they are present in your area. They especially enjoy feeding off of a platform. The Cornell Feeder Watch Program suggests suet, cracked corn, fruit, millet, milo, shelled peanut hearts or unsalted peanuts in the shell, black-oil sunflower seeds in their shell, and

do magpies eat other birds

I use a tray with a few peanuts to feed wild birds. Magpies, as well as a couple grackles, love the peanuts. Generally speaking, there are fewer peanuts than birds, so it’s first come, first served. When there is competition, they will fly in, seize a peanut as soon as they can, and take off. I’ve seen them quickly cover up their peanut and then come back to get another.

On the other hand, it might take longer if one arrives alone. The bird will pick and drop the peanuts, carefully selecting which one it thinks is the best.

We also have one that has mastered the art of putting two peanuts next to each other, picking them both up, and taking off with two. It had trouble aligning them precisely at first, but now it can enter and finish the lineup rapidly. Soon after, a few more birds picked up on this behavior, either by watching the first bird or by figuring it out for themselves.

do magpies eat other birds

The habit of magpies and other corvids to pull tails makes me laugh every time. Our magpies have come to appreciate a small amount of the cracked corn I place out on a ground feeder over the years. Sometimes when a magpie comes to visit a pheasant, it will circle the feeder to assess the pheasant. Then it might approach the pheasant from behind and tug on its tail. The pheasant either moves away from the corn or ignores this impolite behavior.

I’ve seen videos of magpies and other corvids pulling tails of many types of wild animals, as well as those of horses, dogs, and cats. They may even pull the tails of other magpies. Are they doing this just for fun? Sometimes, like with the pheasants, it’s just to move an animal away from something they want. However, at other times it looks like a fun game. Watch this video for examples of corvids pulling tails.

do magpies eat other birds

Magpies are beautiful. Observe them in the sunlight and be astounded by the iridescent green and blue hues that shimmer on their wings and feathers. The contrasting white and black also adds to their splendor. They also have a tail that is the length of their entire body, which gives them a distinctive appearance.

As long as they are both alive, magpies are devoted and will remain in one piece. They work together to construct wonderful nests. While the female works on the inside, creating a mud bowl that she lines with plant materials, the male gathers the sticks for the exterior. It could take up to 40 days to build the nest. These enormous, dome-shaped nests offer protection for the eggs and young birds that are raised inside. Once you see one, you will never be able to identify it as being from a magpie.

do magpies eat other birds

Finally, how smart are they? Numerous studies conducted on different species of magpies demonstrate that they can mimic human speech, cooperate with others, enjoy playing games, identify themselves in mirrors, and, depending on the literature you read, even make and use tools.

Mirror test shows magpies aren’t so bird-brained:

This year, I’ve enjoyed having a ton of birds in my garden, especially the sparrows, which I love so much. I recently drove a baby that I found with no feathers and fresh out of the nest to the vet with an incubator suggested by the RSPB. There are many other birds that come to visit, such as magpies, which I used to think were really lovely birds, but that is no longer the case. Just now, a magpie killed a sparrow and took off with it. Horrified, how can I keep the magpies away from my garden’s sparrows?

What Do Black-billed Magpies Eat?

Magpies consume a broad range of foods, such as fruits, grains, ticks, and insects like grasshoppers, flies, caterpillars, and beetles. Behind our property is a cow pasture, and I have seen Sandhill Cranes and Magpies flipping over cow pies in their quest for insects.

In addition, they will destroy small mammals like mice, voles, and squirrels and break into bird nests. Carrion is another important food source. This offers a quick dinner and could also reveal fly maggots that are feeding on the carrion.

do magpies eat other birds

Magpies have the ability to steal food from coyotes, foxes, wolves, and other carrion-eating animals. They may even steal from you. Magpies were reportedly breaking into Lewis and Clark’s tents to steal food. But don’t hold that against them. Many animals, including raptors, steal from others. Visit my blog, Kleptoparasites: A Pirate’s World Amidst Birds. https://centerofthewest. org/2019/03/25/kleptoparasites-pirates-world-birds/.


Do magpies hurt other birds?

Magpies can be quite vicious and territorial. They will attack anything they see as invading their territory. They are preditors that will eat the eggs and chicks if other birds. They will attack and eat other full grown birds.

What is a magpie enemy?

Magpie lives in loose flocks and in large groups of around 200 birds. Natural enemies of magpies are cats, dogs, and birds of prey like goshawks.

Will a hawk kill a magpie?

Any medium-to-large-sized hawk or eagle probably could. Magpies aren’t that big. The largest falcons can, as well, though kestrels and the smallest falcons are likely too small. Magpies are among the smartest of birds and animals for their size, but raptors aren’t far behind.