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Magpies stealing or moving house?

A few weeks ago, I watched two magpies building a nest . Now two magpies are unpicking the nest and using the material to build another in, what seems to me,a better site close by.
Is it likely to be the same pair moving house or another pair making use of an abandoned nest?
I think the recent storms might have been a factor.
In London. Keen but lazy.


  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Difficult question. Magpies are notorious thieves and great opportunists but unless one has some identifying feature, I don't think you will be able to tell whether this is a new pair.
  • B3B3 Posts: 25,260
    Is moving nests something they do?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Yes, I think so. If they feel unhappy with the nest they have made or they see a better site, or a more dominant pair move in too close, they start again. There's still plenty of time yet for refining your nest. Last year we had a pair of adventurous rooks start to build in a tree in our garden, a little distance from the rookery. When none of the other rooks showed an interest in joining them they gave it up and moved back to the main , rather overcrowded area.
  • B3B3 Posts: 25,260
    Thanks @Posy😊
    In my modest human opinion, the first one was in a stupid place. This new one is sheltered high up in a very tall conifer that doesn't wave about. I wondered if they might be young ones learning by their mistakes.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,158
    We have had magpies building nests in a tree on the boundary with our neighbours and in two of the ash trees by our pond for the last 3 years.   None has been completed or used and all have been blown to bits in strong winds so I'm assuming these are young, inexperienced pairs.  Or just thick.

    There is currently a pair trying to resurrect one of the ash tree nests but having not a lot of luck with the weather.

    Might be something in the air here tho as we also have a failed wood pigeon nest in the wisteria which Minstrel pussy uses to climb up onto the annex roof.  Not clever siting then.  There is another failed wood pigeon nest in a beam in my potting barn.  They sat on it for weeks and weeks last summer but nothing came of it.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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