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Magpies and the cruelty of nature.

We feed the local pigeons and doves every day at our reserve.  For about 6 months we’ve had two magpies hanging around.  Meat eaters they are and I continually worry about their intentions.

Winter’s upon us and the magpies are of course hungrier than normal as they are eating some of the pigeon pellets in our seed mix, and ….

They are flying in at the pigeons, chasing some directly, and when they can they grab hold of a pigeon by its tail, feathers flying, and luckily so far the pigeons have been fast and strong enough to escape.

Horror of horrors last week though when from a distance we witnessed the two magpies chase a baby pigeon, bring it to the ground and one on either side of the pigeon, wing in each beak…. You can imagine the intention!  We rushed at them and thank goodness we scared them enough to release the baby bird.

Nature, yes, but very cruel to watch.

Consequently we now have a bag of small sticks beside us that we launch at the magpies when they come near us at feeding time!