Make Friends is easier than Fighting


About a decade ago I witnessed a magpie in our street swooping kids on bikes heading to school.

I encouraged the folk in the homes near mine to feed the little peckers the occasional titbit.

Not enough for them to become dependant on us but more a gesture of goodwill really.

We have about half a dozen in our street. Now a decade later they still sit outside singing their friendly song. As I sit on the front step in the sun with my morning coffee they pop down for a chat and later in the year bring their next brood of youngsters down for an introduction.

We have gone through a few generations over the years but as your map clearly shows we have no reported swoopings.


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Bird W - September 26th, 2019

Thanks for sharing. We have been feeding and raking up treats for the magpies for years and do not get swooped. I understand that magpies are very intelligent and can even recognise faces. We are very saddened by people in our area that appear to be using some sort of pellet gun to kill our local elderly cohort. Two were found on Monday. It is very distressing.
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Jo Maher - September 7th, 2018

Both my Paternal and MaternalGrandfathers were friends with the magpies. They are extremely intelligent and loyal birds, and loving toward their own.

If they welcome you into their group, you will become a friend to an extensive network of birds, and they will not attack you
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Lish - November 9th, 2016

After curiously watching one particular magpie who has been lingering in our front yard for a couple of weeks observing us I was relieved to find this article.

Though it has never attacked I believe that it knows that this is our home and has left us be as we have also let it be.

Today was a strange day and I came home and was sitting out the front soaking up the afternoon sun as I usually do and I noticed an attack only a few houses up reported on this site by some poor walker who managed to be walking at an obviously inconvenient time for this magpie. I sat here wondering if perhaps it was the same bird.

As I was sitting, the same magpie who has been hanging around for a few weeks hopped around in the driveway watching me until it decided to test me (I believe.) It hopped closer as I was sitting there until it was a couple of feet away and just sat by my feet for a few minutes before hopping off and going about its business.

Such a strange thing to see.

I believe because we have spent so much time in such close quarters to this bird that it has realised we are not a threat. Although I havent fed this bird, I strongly believe that it truely doesnt see us as a threat and we can continue to live alongside it and go about our day.

Our gardens are quite healthy and full of yummy treats for it and I think it knows that haha!
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Sara - October 13th, 2016

Hi all, I would not have generally done this method BUT and its a big but, I will be forever doing it from now on! Last year the kids didn't get attacked in our yard, but as soon as that seasons started I was racking a spot FULL of warms and yummy bugs. We noticed, when I would step away a magpie was coming down to get some grub and I thought we were just lucky to have gotten away with good luck last year.

However, this year we were attacked (at home, same yard) to the point I couldn't let the kids out, clean the car, mow the yard and then it was like a light bulb turned on and I remembered last year. I started racking the same spot and this newbie come down for some grub also to feed their babies. Not one attack since! I've had a love hate relationship with them over the years as one nearly took my brothers eye out and all I remember was being at a park, the bird attacking and blood dripping down my brothers face (only missed his eye by about 1cm).

I can't say I like them but don't dislike them, I would rather them any-day of the week then the Miners who attack the maggies.
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Maggie's mate - October 12th, 2016

I have up to 30 magpies that regularly come for a minced steak treat. The boss, who has a broken lower beak (and needs to put his head on the side to eat ), follows me around the garden , making a soft noise unlike any other that I hear maggies make. After I give him a little treat on his own, he flies up to the roof and makes a particular call which is recognised as " come on gang, she's here with food", at which point I am inundated with birds. All ages come ,and take food from my fingers, with some of the babies sitting on my head and shoulders. It is fascinating to realise that I now recognise individual birds, who seem to have their own expressions etc. That helps me to ensure that each bird gets their fair share. It is quite something to have 20 to 30 birds all around me, and their manners are very good, although there are a couple of greedy, pushy birds. But they are always kind to me, no harassment at all, and I feel it is such a privilege and joy. The only get the treat every 6 days or so, they need to live a proper bird life, and not become dependent on handouts.

They certainly recognise me, as I was walking along the banks of the creek opposite my home, and 3 of the birds came up to me, and walked alongside me for 2-300 metres, making the noises that they make to each other, and also obviously "talking" to me .I love 'em !!
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Raymonde - September 14th, 2016

Feeding has been shown to be the only reliable way of making a magpie stop swooping. They can also recognise faces and remember them for years afterwards, so they might only stop swooping those that feed.

Magpies are meat eating birds so any meat is fine to feed them, preferably not too fatty, mince or pet food works well.

See here for more advice detailed info and advice, Professor Darryl Jones has been studying magpies for years along with other urban wildlife and is very knowledgeable on the topic
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John Cumming - September 8th, 2016

Always worked for Us. We always showed kindness (food). They landed on our verandah railings and chortled loudly every morning. Then decided to move inside to the brekky table. LOL. One big fellow, Hoppy, when hungry, would fly down and whack me with a wing, then sit on a railing waiting for tucker. How can you not love them?
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Olivia Dawood - September 2nd, 2016

What do you feed them?
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Lisa Hayward - August 31st, 2016

I have been friends with my local magpies around the footy ground for the past 15 years..started off giving them some food and then talking to them every morning when I walk the dogs. Never had a problem with them at all...have saved a few of their babies who have fallen out of their nests too. Love our local moogulbirds!!!!! lol
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Beck Cole - September 30th, 2015

This method was suggested to me & glad to see it may work
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Lee P - September 21st, 2015

I had wondered if this tactic would appease them, good to know it does. Great work.

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