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Thread: Failed Nests.

  1. #1

    Failed Nests.

    We are pretty lucky to live in a relatively rural location, and throughout the spring my Son and I spent quite a bit of time searching the hedge rows looking for birds nests whilst out walking the dogs. . We enjoy watching the nests develop to the point where the fledglings leave the nest.

    This year however I have been struck by the very high failure rate of the nests, in particular the blackbirds. Of the four blackbird nests which we have watched not one has successfully reared chicks.

    I'm almost certain that the cause is a pair of magpies which I've seen doing the rounds.
    Historically we have never had magpies here but recently they seem to have become more prevalent. .

    Between cats, corvids, buzzards it's no wonder the song bird populations are suffering.

    On a more positive note we have a gang of house sparrows which seem to have done well this year.
    Last edited by Cadex; 29-05-2015 at 23:22.

  2. #2
    We've been lucky this year and had a blackie nesting in the conifer (successfully so far).
    In the past it's been raided every year by the maggies.
    In the past 6 months I've removed 14 of the pied robbers which may account for this year's success.

    Ed

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by LuckyEddie View Post
    We've been lucky this year and had a blackie nesting in the conifer (successfully so far).
    In the past it's been raided every year by the maggies.
    In the past 6 months I've removed 14 of the pied robbers which may account for this year's success.

    Ed
    I may well be forced to follow your lead Eddie, dust off the BSA Supersport and thin the black and white bastwards out a bit. . . It's amazing the intelligence they show systematically working their way along a hedge row.
    The song birds don't stand a chance.
    Terribly infuriating.

  4. #4
    the last remaining magpie took a chick out of the blackbird's nest right outside my back door just last week
    have shot 7 of them in 3 months and they just keep coming

    failure to manage predators is the single most common issue with conservation policies

    in 5 years I have shot over 60-70 magpies crows jackdaws all within 20 ft of my back door
    since then we have had numerous new species and a roughly 1000% increase in songbird population (and yes I do count them!)
    Yellow wagtails, long tailed tits, song and mistle thrush, not to mention the coal, blue, great tits, 3 families/pairs of blackbirds, swifts, tree sparrows etc
    We even had a goldfinch and a bullfinch...in Edinburgh

    get those feckers shot!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by bewsher500 View Post
    the last remaining magpie took a chick out of the blackbird's nest right outside my back door just last week
    have shot 7 of them in 3 months and they just keep coming

    failure to manage predators is the single most common issue with conservation policies

    in 5 years I have shot over 60-70 magpies crows jackdaws all within 20 ft of my back door
    since then we have had numerous new species and a roughly 1000% increase in songbird population (and yes I do count them!)
    Yellow wagtails, long tailed tits, song and mistle thrush, not to mention the coal, blue, great tits, 3 families/pairs of blackbirds, swifts, tree sparrows etc
    We even had a goldfinch and a bullfinch...in Edinburgh

    get those feckers shot!
    That is pretty damn impressive.
    I grew up in a tiny little conservation village, we used to have all manner of birds . . linnets, gold finches, green finches, yellow and grey wagtails and a constant stream of dippers working the river.

    A veritable oasis of bird life, now. . . I can't remember the last time I saw many of these species.

    Same with the squirrels, we had loads of reds, now nothing but grey tree rats.
    Something has gone wrong in the ecosystem.
    Last edited by Cadex; 29-05-2015 at 23:34.

  6. #6
    You boys are lucky you don't suffer from magpies the way we do down here! My advice is HAMMER them and then keep hammering them hard. I recently lent a larsen trap to a friend locally, and in 13 days it accounted for 15 magpies and 2 crows and that's in his garden. You can't help but wonder how many eggs and nestlings will at least fledge due to that single effort? It's bound to make some difference I'd have thought.
    ATB Lee

  7. #7
    There is a pair of small members of the tit family nesting in a wall opposite our flat which the wife has been watching come and go on a regular basis throughout the daytime. She was at the kitchen window yesterday when she let out a cry of horror. There was a magpie that had been sitting on the gate post just a few yards away from where the nest is then it flew to another part of the wall just above the nest and watched. As soon as the adult came out the black and white thief was there with it's head in the hole on the wall. It didn't leave with anything in it's beak, but it wasn't for the lack of effort!
    Up till now the wife didn't care much about me shooting magpies (She had always thought they were "nice looking and quite harmless and intelligent birds" to see flying about) but now she can at last understand why I have such a hatred of them and was happy when I went with the shotgun to one of my local permissions and returned telling her that I had "dealt with" a couple of the black and white's thieving cousins!
    I personally believe that magpies are one of the biggest contributor to the decline in songbirds and they get no quarter from me when I am out with a gun, or when I have my Larsen Trap running!
    Edit: As a side note, I was up on one of my hill farm permissions and saw a great many more Lapwings flying about and acting very territorial the other day so I believe that they are nesting - I just hope that the nests are successful this year as there has been a shortage of them in our area over recent years!
    Last edited by FrenchieBoy; 30-05-2015 at 07:06.



  8. #8
    Magpies and grey squirrels dont last long in my garden and this year we have a wrens nest but the sparrows nest have been hammered by rats

  9. #9
    Some 20 years ago, there was an article in the Shooting times by Chapman Pincher re Larsen traps. A survey had been carried out on two areas to check the numbers of songbirds present. The Magpie and Crow numbers were then controlled with Larsen Traps each year. After the first year, songbird numbers had increased by 80%. Because of the increase in food supply, the numbers of 'other predators' increased and after three years, songbird numbers stabilized at 30% above the numbers found before the use of the Larsen traps. I don't know why people persist with shooting when Larsen traps are much less labour intensive/time consuming. I have declared my patch a Magpie-free zone for the last 4 years from late March to early May and the bird-life has increased dramatically.

  10. #10
    We have had tit's nesting in a box I put up in the garden for years, sometimes se the black and white buggers sitting on top of the box but they have never managed to get at the eggs or chicks, this year has been different, I watched both adults (great tit's this year) setting up the nest, then saw the male flitting back and forth with food for the female, then it went quiet, saw the male a couple of times then he disappeared , looks like something got the female when she was out from the box, I gave it 4/5 days and checked the box, found 5 eggs and 1 tiny chick which had hatched and died all eggs were in chick.

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