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Magpies attacking blackbird and nest

A blackbird has a nest in a conefer in my back garden. The eggs have hatched and the chicks are being well-fed by their mother BUT today there was an almighty commotion and when I looked out, a magpie was swooping down and chased the mother from the nest. It took a chick from the nest but paniced when it saw me and dropped the chick. The chick hit a rock in my garden and died after 5 minutes. Is there anything that I can do to stop this from happening again? Is it likely that the magpie will try and take the other chicks?. I was right gutted and angry. Any advice would be very welcome!
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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,138

    Afraid that's nature, red in tooth and claw - the magpie has babies to feed.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,965

    Voyager image

    Unfortunately it's what those b*****s do.Not sure there's much you can do to prevent it though. Perhaps someone will have some ideas. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • VoyagerxpVoyagerxp Posts: 635

    Its so annoying, i've had the same pair of blackbirds there every year. Good job my wife wasn't in, she would have been devistated.image

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,965

    I watched a programme recently about wildlife in various people's gardens. One man had several nests - all with cameras and different types of birds in them. He lost so many of the chicks overnight to cats that he built a chicken wire mesh cage round the remaining two nests and then camped out next to them till they'd all fledged! That's dedication  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • VoyagerxpVoyagerxp Posts: 635

    That is dedication my friend, will blackbirds use nesting boxes?, i've got 3 boxes in my back garden but they have never used the, maybe the holes are too small.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,138

    Magpies raided the collared doves' nest here a couple of weeks ago.  They're nesting again now.  It's what happens image

    We've just had a beautiful jay at our bird feeder - but  he can't take a load of suet pellets and nuts back to his youngsters - he'll need nestlings and eggs to feed them.

    We're fascinated watching the peregrine falcons nesting on the cathedral spire - but every time they bring a pigeon back to feed their youngsters, there's a nest of baby pigeons somewhere nearby that have been orphaned http://upp.hawkandowl.org/norwich-peregrines/norwich-cathedral-peregrine-live-web-cam-2015/

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,138

    You need a different type of nestbox for blackbirds http://www.birdfood.co.uk/ctrl/product:407;/blackbird_open_nest_box#.VWn2X0Y_k0Y

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • VoyagerxpVoyagerxp Posts: 635

    Thanks Dovefromabove for the cam feed, loverly looking falcons. I understand that birds have to feed like those falcons but magpies could easly live on bugs,snails and stuff like that.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,138

     

    Voyagerxp wrote (see)

    .... but magpies could easly live on bugs,snails and stuff like that.

    Afraid they couldn't.  Saying that is like saying cats should live on carrots and lettuce rather than meat and fish.  

    Magpies are omnivores, they need a very varied diet in order to be healthy, and adults eat a wide range of things including seeds and insects, carrion,  rodents,  nuts, eggs and berries - but for magpie chicks to develop into healthy adults they have to be fed almost entirely on meat.  If they don't have it they will die.

    I know how you feel - I used to have a smallholding and we had lots of ducks - every spring the magpies would swoop down on the ducklings as mother duck proudly led them back and forth from nest to pond.

    However, neither ducks, blackbirds nor collared doves are extinct - it's only humans that wipe out entire species. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • FirecrackerFirecracker East Lancashire.Posts: 256

    We have the same problem with wrens,blackbirds, doves and even the goldcrest gets attacked by magpies, what happens here is SWMBO dashes out clapping her hand like billio, every time she hears the distress call. I must say that I do as well, image

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