Talkback: Magpies and mice
Reply to magpie-haters: I understand people not liking these birds. I'm protected from a lot of this dislike because I have cats that do their own fair share of song-bird destruction and in London I think the magpies are mainly scavengers rather than predators. We also get a lot of crows, and it is these, I think, that keep dropping chicken bones in the gutters. I recently saw crow-hate taking to an extreme. A dead one is now strung up by its feet on one of the neighbouring allotments. I was always told by my father that gamekeepers strung up their kills on the fence for two reasons, one to show their employer that they had been working well, and two, to frighten off other 'vermin'. Until last Sunday I had not seen such a display gibbet for 30 years.