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How To Get Rid Of Magpies And Keep Them At Bay

How To Get Rid Of Magpies And Keep Them At Bay

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No matter how much you love birds, you won’t be thrilled to see them in your yard and ruining your garden. Magpies are beautiful birds, for example, but they may cause damage if not controlled.

If you were searching for effective methods on how to get rid of magpies, you have come to the right place.

Although magpies can be controlled, there are a few things to consider prior to using any of the methods.

Don’t underestimate these little creatures; they are very intelligent and will figure out that you are trying to get rid of them sooner or later.

Don’t be discouraged if one or two methods don’t work. Although they are hard to get rid of, nothing is impossible.

You first need to meet your visitors and then work out what attracts them. I’ll tell you about the preferences of magpies so that you know what to expect and what to remove or do.

Let’s get started!

How To Get Rid Of Magpies

magpie on a branch

Just like all other pests, magpies are in search of food. I know you don’t want to leave them hungry, but you’ll need to if you want to keep your garden safe.

Pica hudsonia, aka the magpie, is a bird from the Corvidae family (along with crows).

What differentiates these birds from others is their wedge-shaped tail. Black-billed magpies and yellow-billed magpies are the most common varieties of magpies in North America. Other types of these birds include Cissa chinensis – with a distinctive green color, and the Australian magpie – with the classic black and white colors.

The best methods for getting rid of magpies include covering fruit and veggies with nets, covering food sources, using bird feeders, using reflecting objects, getting rid of bird baths, placing a scarecrow, and using bird tape and decoys.

Let’s get into details!

Cover Fruit And Veggies With Nets

People are not the only fans of delicious fruits and veggies! Magpies obviously have good taste, and will enjoy eating our food as much as we do.

Things are easy if it’s time for harvest because you simply pick your fruits and veggies and store them safely. But that’s mostly not the case, and magpies will start eating our food before it’s ready to be picked. We can’t harvest if it’s not ripe, so that’s definitely not the solution.

But you can protect your fruits and veggies using protective nets. Cover fruit trees and vegetable gardens with these nets, of which there are numerous sizes available.

You won’t stop seeing magpies immediately. I mentioned how these birds are smart and won’t give up easily.

They’ll keep trying to reach your crops, but become hungry enough to search for other food sources eventually.

This method will also deter raccoons from your yard. 

Cover Food Sources

magpie stealing food

Once magpies realize they can’t reach the fruits and veggies, they’ll start looking for other food sources.

They find trash cans a great food source, but will also consume pet food and leftovers.

If magpies frequently congregate on your roof, you should examine your gutters and clean them thoroughly.

Gutters are full of worms and leaves, which make a great meal for magpies.

Cleaning won’t be enough in most cases, so if you notice that birds are still gathering on the roof, you can put hardware wire cloth on the gutters.

This keeps the gutters clear while enabling rainwater to flow through them.

You should also be more careful about where you leave your food; as soon as you finish your meal, take the plate indoors.

I mentioned that magpies eat pet food, especially in summer. Put pet food in a garage or somewhere where magpies can’t reach it.

During the colder months, these birds prefer food with more plant material.

Use Bird Feeders

If you have bird feeders in your yard, expect magpies to pay them a visit. They won’t be able to resist!

Bird feeders are one of the biggest draws for magpies, so the only thing you need to do is protect this food source.

Magpies are smart cookies, and also very aggressive towards small birds. You don’t have to stop providing food for smaller birds. Instead, swap out your regular bird feeders for ones designed for tiny, cute, and well-behaved birds.

There are many special bird feeders on the market that serve as deterrents for large birds and smaller animals, such as squirrels.

They lower a feeding bar once a heavier animal is on them. As a result, larger birds are unable to get the bird seeds and cannot feed.

I use bird feeders with a metal covering and small holes; small birds can easily enter, whereas larger birds, such as magpies, can’t reach the food.

Use Decoys And Reflective Objects

cds used as bird repellent

There’s one thing magpies are really scared of – flashing lights. You can keep magpies at bay by placing any reflective object in your yard.

Old CDs

Good old CDs are your friends now; just hang them in your garden where you don’t want to see any magpies.

Wind will make your CDs spin, and their reflective surface will make an excellent magpie deterrent. You can hang them practically everywhere.

There’s one problem with this control method; it’ll scare all birds, not just magpies.

Plastic Bottles

Many people use plastic bottles half filled with water to solve their magpie problem. How does this work? Sunlight reflects on the water, and as trees sway the reflection will move in different directions. Magpies hate it!

The problem with plastic bottles is that they look awful in yards. But they may serve as a temporary solution.

Unfortunately, CDs aren’t as readily available as they once were, so you may have to use bottles until you find something better.

Bird Scare Tapes

Another effective solution for a magpie problem is using bird scare tapes. They’ll generate a light reflection and send it in different directions.

Long reflecting stripes display a variety of colors to scare magpies. The tape will also curl, and some varieties come with a metal surface on one side and vibrant colors on the other.

Some people suggest using aluminum foil as a repellent. From my experience, aluminum foil isn’t the best choice as it quickly breaks. Instead of scaring magpies, you’ll just end up with a bunch of trash and the birds will have a free ticket to your garden.

Scarecrows

The use of scarecrows as a technique to deter magpies is rather common, and one of the reasons is it’s cost-effective.

You can purchase scarecrows online or make one yourself. You can always use the good old straw & old clothes method as it will seem way more authentic.

Take your old shirt and pants, and fill them with some material like straw or grass.

Put your bogeyman somewhere in the yard and move it every few days to confuse the birds.

Get Rid Of Bird Baths

magpie on a bird bath

I know that bird baths look adorable, and you feel great when you spot little birdies drinking water, but you won’t feel that way once magpies start swooping at you!

All birds are drawn to water sources, and magpies aren’t an exception.

Unfortunately, you need to remove bird baths, though you can bring them back after permanently eliminating magpies.

Just remember that bird baths aren’t the only water sources magpies love; any place in your garden where water accumulates will be a perfect spot for this bird.

Examine your yard and get rid of all puddles. Of course, you can’t and shouldn’t eliminate ponds or creeks. In this case, you’ll need to use some of the other methods above to keep magpies away.

Install An Automatic Sprinkler

Another interesting thing about these birds is that they don’t like getting wet.

You can install a sprinkler with a motion detector to keep these naughty birds at bay.

It would be best to set the sprinkler to work only during the night.

Make Noise

magpie flying

Noise will definitely keep these birds away. Don’t worry; you don’t need to yell at them even though they swoop at you!

You can turn on a radio during the day to deter birds, but pay attention to volume; your goal is to scare off birds not neighbors.

Another way to scare off these birds is by playing a recording of an owl howling or the call of any other natural predator. But remember, these birds are as smart as a whip and may quickly detect the deception.

I recommend moving the device around your yard so that magpies think the predators are everywhere. Don’t forget to notify your neighbors.

Use Repellent Gel

There are many bird-repellent gels on the market. They are sticky, and the tiny legs of magpies will quickly get glued.

Don’t worry; these gels don’t contain any toxic substances, so they can’t harm children or pets. However, be careful where you apply it as we can get glued too!

When To Hire Professionals

No matter how hard you try, sometimes it may be impossible to get rid of these birds.

In such cases, contacting pest control services or searching for a bird keeper would be best. Although the services may be pricey, it’s worth every penny!

FAQs

magpie on a roof

Are magpies a nuisance?

If you are a gardener, then magpies can be a nuisance. They swoop, destroy gardens, and there are some cases when these birds attack people. They may be pretty aggressive to smaller birds, and can be considered predators. Remember that these smart birds also have weaknesses, so use one of our methods to deter them for good.

How can I keep magpies away from my balcony?

First, you need to remove any food and water sources from your balcony. If you have any plants, ensure there isn’t any water pooled anywhere. You can also put bird netting over it to keep plants off-limits.
Additionally, keep an eye out for any other item this bird finds attractive and try to get rid of the landing spot.

Wrapping Up

Even if you aren’t scared of birds, you won’t like how your yard looks after their visit!

Magpies are smart birds, and it takes time to figure out what they specifically like about your yard.

But we’ve shown you the best methods on how to get rid of magpies, so use them and I’m sure these pests won’t come near ever again! 

Bye bye birdies!

Until next time!