Magpies: food and ferocity

Subject: Magpies: food and ferocity
From: "RAOU Conservation (Hugo Phillipps)" <>
Date: Wed, 6 Nov 1996 15:18:07 +1100 (EST)
This is partly a slightly delayed comment on Neil Waller's post a few days ago.

Although the only vertebrate listed by Barker & Vestjens' "Food of
Australian Birds" as Magpie tucker is a Tree Sparrow, Magpies are known to
eat mice, although I doubt whether they are a large part of the normal diet.
Magpies seem to suffer disproportionately from mouse-plague control, maybe
partly from poisoned bait, but also secondary poisoning from eating moribund

I am also very interested in effective means of deterring Magpie attacks.
Avoidance is not always an option, such as outside school entrances.
Although fake eyes are anecdotally effective (at least sometimes) ther have
been cases of real eyes being attacked and damaged.  Maybe the eyes need to
made bigger than normal so that, when a Magpie nears them, they appear far
too close for comfort.

Whatever, there does not seem to be one simple acceptable way of eliminating
all attacks at present.  If anyone finds one, let us all know.

Cheers,  Hugo.

Hugo Phillipps,
RAOU Conservation & Liaison,
Australian Bird Research Centre,
415 Riversdale Road,
Hawthorn East, VIC 3123, Australia.
Tel: +61 3 9882 2622. Fax: +61 3 9882 2677.
Email: <>
The Virtual Emu:

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