Magpie Pairs Are Killing 39 Million Garden Songbirds, Their Chicks and Eggs.

The Sunday Telegraph 2005 February 27th – R Brammer – Shillingford, Devon


Note Photos: British Blackbird male – IS A Garden ‘Songbird!’ – NO NOT a “crow or magpie.” Blackbirds are half the size… Main Photo: Taken ‘1987′.

View: Your Lost Birds and the RSPB!

I am one of the group of people who put up a £500 bounty on the proposed magpie cull. This was rightly done in an attempt to arrest the very serious decline in the small bird population presided over by the ‘Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.’
I own a private bird sanctuary and take bird conservation seriously. It would seem that the payment of a bounty may upset some people. This was to encourage shooters to get the magpie population down. Bounty payments are nothing new in attempts to cull a damaging species. Grey squirrels and cormorants have in the past been subjects of bounty payments by UK governments.

In drawing up the following statistics I have been very conservative and have used ‘RSPB’ figures where possible. ‘Ones they would rather not have shown.’

The RSPB’s attitude to bird conservation has always been to do nothing about small bird predation but to put the blame instead on farming practices to cover their own inadequacy.

According to the RSBP website, there were 650,000 breeding pairs of magpies in Britain in 2005. If each of these pairs destroys one nest of five eggs, or young, the total number of eggs or young chicks destroyed is 3,250,000.
Note – If each pair of birds destroy one nest per week over the breeding season – (which is a very conservative estimate) the true figure and the number of eggs or young lost becomes 39 Million.

This well-loved songbird with its black feathers, bright yellow beak and eye ring sings on high like a welcome melodic ‘angel’ in your garden.

Since 2001 Disastrously UK on – Red list of Endangered Threatened Species…!
2010: BTO – ‘‘Huge falls have been recorded for our Blackbirds.”

Blackbirds – A – True ‘All Year Round’ British Garden Songbird with the Greatest of Songs. ‘They nest in ivy or low hedges and bushes, so start planting to help increase their numbers.’

Females are brown, so they are more able to merge in with the earth when looking for slugs, bugs and all of our plant pests.
Their colour also helps keep them hidden when making their nest in bushes or ivy. And being plain brown helps them merge in with the background when sitting on their nest for weeks on end.

Female Blackbirds sing daily, just like the male but more quietly. You can easily tell them apart because the males have deep black glossy plumage, with a striking yellow-gold bill and eye ring.
Their song has superb, rich, long, high and low phrases of fluting with endlessly varied ‘kisses’ and whistles. They mate for life and – COULD – live to 7+ years if given help.

How You Could Help Blackbirds:

Compost Heap

Add your old fruit, vegetables and garden waste to soil pile. Blackbirds forage for slugs, worms, bugs, beetles, spiders, flies and moths, in fact, all our creepy crawlies. And in the process clean our soil of all trash viruses.


Berries and cherries. Leave windfall pears apples.


Put out mealworms, fatty meat, chips, sausage, bacon, chicken and grapes. ALL very moist and well chopped up.
Pathetically Blackbird – Red ‘DEAD’ List – “Since 2001”
Shamed ‘Predation Britain’ and the RSPB

2005 – ‘39 Million’ Songbirds ‘Eggs Chicks Killed’ the RSPB… –
By ‘650,000 Pairs of Magpies!’

Add to this predation by domestic cats and sparrowhawks and the scale of the problem faced is obvious. Yet we are portrayed as “heartless slayers of magpies”.

We are trying to address a problem that the RSPB and the Department for Environmental Food and Rural Affairs will not.”
The cull will go ahead despite objections from the chattering classes. We country folk are sick of having our lives interfered with by know-nothing ‘pseudo-conservationists’ making a lot of noise and not really knowing what they are talking about.
Add – Predation by cats, grey-squirrels, sparrow-hawks, all hawks, jays, herring-gulls, crows, falcons, red-kites, owls, woodpeckers, rats, fox, badgers, magpies etc. The List Seems Endless.

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