I’ve written in defence of magpies before, based in no little part on their intelligence. These two videos help illustrate that. Sort of.Recently we noticed one of the fat cake feeders in the garden kept dropping off the hook into the flower bed. I’d assumed this was as it was quite light and we’d had strong winds. Then I was looking out of the window and watched one of the younger local magpies come along, land on the hook, and simply lift it off.
Now, I was going to just tie it onto the hook so it physically couldn’t be removed. But where is the fun in that? What if I gave the magpie a bit of a surprise instead? So I rigged something up.
The first time it returned, it actually gave up after a couple of minutes as you can see in this video (sorry, filmed on my phone, through a window, and I currently have the house in scaffold!):
So there, after trying to life it, the bird gave up when another magpie swooped in. So you don’t get to see the little surprise I’d rigged up. But when it came back later for another go, it was more successful:
A bit of string holds the feeder to the hook. So rather than dropping straight to the ground, it drops a few inches and dangles there.
But this really didn’t phase the magpie. It stared slightly surprised for a few moments, but soon went and started feeding again, albeit struggling with the merry-go-round approach.
The feeder has now been fully attached, and the magpies simply climb onto the trellis and peck at it instead.