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How can you get rid of annoying magpies?

A:

Quick Answer

The Internet Center at Wildlife Damage Management suggests the use of frightening and trapping devices to decrease the depredations of magpies. The site also recommends modification of the bird's nesting habitat, especially during the magpie breeding season.

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Full Answer

Frightening techniques include the use of distress and alarm systems, auditory and visually frightening devices, and exploders and pyrotechnics. The use of bird calls can also be effective in frightening the birds. In most rural areas, the alarms are recorded, amplified and broadcast. This technique, however, may also distress other birds aside from magpies.

Pyrotechnics and exploders also use loud sounds to scare the magpies away. Some effective pyrotechnic devices are 12-gauge exploding shells and rope firecrackers. Using live ammunition, however, poses safety problems and is illegal. Rope firecrackers need to be placed above ground due to fire hazard.

Clearing the nest of magpies during the magpie breeding season is also an effective method to prevent predation. Clear the low brush near their nesting areas to prevent them from creating a nest. In urban areas, residents may use hawk kites, eye balloons and scarecrows to frighten the birds.

Magpies eat anything, including crops, garbage, pet food and carrion. Exclude magpies by covering the garbage container and lambing pens, fencing poultry in coops, and storing pets' food indoors to reduce their food sources. These precautions also prevent magpies from bothering and preying on farm animals.

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