Monday, 11 April 2022

EARLY MORNING SADNESS

 We have a pair of blackbirds nesting in a very large bush in one of the back gardens nearby.

We've watched them collecting worms from our tiny garden and enjoyed their company.

This morning I awoke to loud distress calls from these blackbirds and looking out of the bedroom window immediately  saw the reason. A magpie was darting about in the bush where the nest is.


They tried valiantly to scare it off but it went deeper into the bush.

I had to come away from the window because it was so upsetting and a short time after the noise stopped.

I have to assume that the magpie was successful and all the hard work that these beautiful birds had done was for nothing.

This made me think about the fact that once upon a time magpies were purely country birds and did not come into the built up areas.

Cats have a bad reputation for the loss of the bird population but watching this horrible scene made me realise that possibly the magpie is more of a challenge to the nesting birds than the cats are.

Not a good way to start the day.

The study found that songbird numbers were no different in places where there were many magpies from where there are few. It found no evidence that increased numbers of magpies have caused declines in songbirds and confirms that populations of prey species are not determined by the numbers of their predators. Availability of food and suitable nesting sites are probably the main factors limiting songbird populations.

So after finding this passage on rspb website this would tie in with my hatred of paved gardens. Lack of bushes and trees seem to be the main reason for the decline in birds.

15 comments:

  1. Oh dear, that is upsetting. There are so many hazards for baby birds. Sometimes I've wondered how any of them survive.

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  2. You are so very right Briony - bring on the tress and bushes we say - and don't even mow the lawns, just let nature produce lots of insects for the birds to eat when they are nesting in all those trees and shrubs. xxx Mr T

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  3. I agree, our neighbour next door has a very wild and overgrown garden, it's the way she loves it, the taller shrubs are always full of birds.

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  4. once we came home to the sight of a snake crawling up the wall on our porch, he was after the eggs in the flower basket where a cardinal had made her nest.. nature takes care of itself if only humans would leave the enviroment alone...

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  5. We've seen things like this in our garden too, including a magpie cowering behind plant pots because of aggressive crows. Eventually, they killed it on the lawn. Nothing we could have done. Nature can be very distressing, but I think the blackbirds will just build another safer nest and start again.

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  6. That is sad and I would have had to leave the window as well.

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  7. We have given over our back yard by the creek to the wildlife. There are tons of overgrown trees and bushes. The ferals use it too... but that's fine with us. It doesn't look manicured and neat like our neighbors yards, but it is in the back and we put a Wildlife Sanctuary sign on the wood fence.

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  8. Oh, that IS distressing. Sometimes at night I'll hear frantic squeaks or other noises and I figure an owl has just caught some prey. It's very hard to listen to. I try to remember "everybody has to eat" but it's poor comfort when you're hearing a creature die. It's a good idea for all wildlife to keep wild spaces as much as possible.

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  9. Aw that's sad I wouldn't have been able to watch either. There are lots of magpies here and I get very few smaller birds in my garden compared to before.

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  10. So sad. The poor little songbirds have it harder and harder. But I do like Magpies as well, they are so smart. But those poor little hatchlings!!

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  11. This happened to us a couple of years ago and the thieving magpie dropped the egg it had stolen and it smashed to the ground, it was very upsetting. This year I have watched a blackbird taking nesting material into the same bush in our garden so fingers crossed all will be well.

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    1. It is upsetting and here's a link to my blog post about the same thing happening in my garden. The poor blackbirds did make a din I felt so sad for them.

      https://dejabrewtwo.blogspot.com/2020/04/thievery.html

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  12. Over the last few years we have lost a number of blackbird clutches to magpies, with the tell-tale sign of broken eggs left on the edge of the shrub border.
    Fortunately we have no near neighbours with cats, so the birds are otherwise left alone. Even the jackdaws (this area was an old farmyard and the jackdaws have stayed) leave the other birds alone.

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    1. Nice of you to comment Will. I can't tell you how sad this made me feel but this morning the blackbird was singing his/her heart out so unlike us humans she seems to be over it. I hope they get the chance to raise another brood in a safer place.
      Briony
      x

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  13. That is so upsetting. Mind you, a while ago I saw a squirrel raiding a magpie nest. All you can do is your best. Sending hugs x

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