Magpies

godslambJuly 11, 2005

We are having alot of magpie problems here in Calgary, the little buggers have now pecked the flowers off all my begonias! They are also taking over the yard so that now the sparrows and robins are afraid to come into our yard for water. Now the crows look like they might want to join this little party. Any ideas on how to get rid of them?? I have seen bird traps (can't afford that) and also people shooting them, but I doubt that is legal in the city, and we don't have the means anyway. Is there any humane way of getting rid of them?

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Mystery_Gardener

Motion trigger or remote control noise makers / sprinklers. An energetic dog. A a very large raptor (just kidding on that last one ;-) I can empathize with your plight, we never get the cherries or berries from our plants as the crows snap them up. They also harass the other birds. I scare them every once in a while but they are smart and figure things out pretty quickly. I will be following this link to see if someone out there has a solution to this problem.

Cheers,
MG

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 2:10PM
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Las_Palmas_Norte(Zone8)

Crows are the biggest (bird) pests here. There are some nesting in a forested area next to me and have become loud and aggresive. Once they set up shop, there's not much to do as long as their young are being reared. They won't pick up and move on. Discouraging them before nesting might be the best solution.

Cheers, Barrie.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 2:25PM
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wordswork

The City of Calgary (Canada) had some interesting (humane) options. Spray the birds with water whenever possible (if you're in the yard, hose in hand when the dratted things show up). Plant marigolds, as magpies don't like the aroma. If your fence has a ledge, place moth balls on said ledge. Bait food sprayed with hot pepper sauce or sprinkled with cayenne.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 3:21PM
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ianna(Z5b)

try using light reflective tapes tied on wires, whirligs, large balloons with an 'eye' painted on them - rubber snakes that are moved place to place. These are just suggestions.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 3:26PM
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organic_birdlady

This is a pretty much dead thread but I'll add my two cents in case someone stumbles upon this and can be helped. There are a lot of solutions you could use. Have you tried holographic tape or a bird scare balloon? There are also sticky gels available that you can dot on ledges/branches etc that birds roost on. You can also dilute the gel with water and spray it on hard to reach places. The gel won't hurt the birds, it just makes them feel annoyed. Similar to the way we would avoid walking in an area covered in chewed gum or wet tar, birds will find somewhere else to roost (you have to reapply every year or so). Another option is a spray that contains methyl anthranilate (a safe chemical derived from concord grapes which has been used as a flavoring agent for decades). This chemical irritates the trigeminal system that birds have and gives them a feeling similar to when people are around bleach. Spray on anything they use for a food source (by the way, this chemical does not poison the birds, it just disturbs them). You can also use netting to block off the trees that they most like to roost in. I'd explain sonic and ultrasonic devices but they can get sort of expensive and since you mentioned that you couldn't afford traps I figure I'll just mention them and you can look them up if you are interested.

By the way, you're right about trapping and/or killing birds but for the sake of other readers I'll also add that they wont work. That is a treatment of the symptom rather than the real problem (that your environment is appealing to birds). Killing or trapping the current infestation will only open up prime real estate for another flock to take over.

Here is a link that might be useful: click for examples, case studies and FAQs about bird pest control

    Bookmark   December 3, 2007 at 1:15PM
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