How to keep magpies away

I have tried reflective tape. They only work for 1 week before the bird knows it's not harmful to them.

Had anyone else tried other methods ?
Would bird glue really work? Or those ultrasound machines?

They crap all over my back deck, on my drying clothes and my dog barks and chases them like crazy and neighbours gets upset.

Would hunting them down be an option?
There are about 3 of them that keeps on coming to my pool area in my backyard.


  • +3

    Ultrasound machines don’t work. Birds don’t care about them. So don’t waste your money on that. Neither do statues of owls. Birds work out really quickly that it isnt real.

  • +17

    I can't really help other than to say magpies are pretty smart so will be quick to work out any tricks you try. They're also protected as a native species so it's illegal to kill or harm them.

    If they're coming to the pool for water is leaving a bucket/bowl/something of water away from the pool/deck an option?

    • There are heaps of pools around my street
      They just love my house more and love teasing my dog

      • +7

        Any chance they are coming to steal your dogs dinner?

      • +4

        They just love my house more and love teasing my dog
        Tell doggo to find the nearest adult and get them to stop. Strict no bullying policy around these parts.

      • +1

        They are not visiting your dog.
        It's likely that there's a food source at your house.

      • What sort of stuff are they saying to him?

  • +6

    Put a feeding bowl out for them, off the ground and away from your clothes? We have tons of maggies here, never a problem.

  • +1

    Don't think you can keep them away…they are playing well. Just a blip last round, they'll be back

  • +2

    Feed them. They're very intelligent, recognise individual humans and don't attack their friends. Just do it in a place that's away from your clothes and pool. A bird bath might help, maybe the swimming pool is the only source of water nearby?

    • -4

      This is a really bad idea. The birds stop looking for food and just keep coming back to you. They become reliant on you and will expect the food.
      If they don't get the food, they will start attacking people. Also what happens if you go on vacation? Who will feed them then?

      • +18

        Do you have actual experience with magpies? They don't attack when they don't get food. They just don't attack the people who have given them food in the past, and continue default behaviour to other people.

        • +1

          I can't remember if they were magpies but in general feeding wildlife is bad because it makes them dependent on people to give them food.

    • +7

      If you feed them, try to avoid sun-baked mince

      • The smell would be the last worry of all

      • If you feed them, try to avoid sun-baked mince…

        HAHA Yes! I'd give you two plusses if I could. Great use of that thread. I think it is my second favourite one on OZB.

        • Whats the first?

          • +11

            @WreckTangle: The guy that lived next to the public bbq and wheeled a trolley over to cook on it all the time one.

    • -2

      If you start feeding birds, you will over time attract more and more. Is this what you want, bird excrement and noise? Magpies are much more of a pest that, say, kookaburras or honey eaters or sparrows.

  • -1

    Wouldn't feeding them encourage or attract more?

    and also cause them to depend on the OP for a food source?

    • +1

      No, feeding magpies does not attract more. They are fiercely territorial, and one pair will chase away any others that come into their territory. They even kick their kids out of their territory. If there are more than two of them in a ordinary suburban area that is usually only because previous years kids are hanging around as "helpers" until they are kicked out of home territory.

      But, yes, they do get into the habit of asking for food if they're fed rather than finding it themselves.

        • +1

          No, he's not, its just that's not what usually happens in ordinary suburban areas. Suburban back yards don't generally have the resources to support bigger groups. But when the parents kick their adolescent kids out of their home territory, the adolescents hang around together in places that can - like parks and bushlands - until they find a mate and a breeding territory of their own. If you live near a place like that, and you feed one of the adolescent group the rest will come looking for something too. But you haven't attracted more magpies to the area, they were already there.

  • Get a crow.

    • +3

      Crows are much larger but far more timid. We have both and the crows won't come near the magpies. Even the (amusingly aggressive) lorikeets chase away the crows.

      • lorikeets chase away the crows

        Was wondering whose the crow's enemies are.

        Doves > seagulls > magpies > crows > (NEW) Lorikeets > ???

        • Miner birds chase away the Lorikeets at my place

        • at my house i have 2 lorikeets who chase away all the crows, magpies, cockatoo and noisy miners. None of other birds can eat till they eat to their fill. If i am late they keep on looking in to my house to see what i am doing and when i open the door they just fly and sit on my arm and start eating from my hands. i have 3 poor magpies who wait for the lorikeets to finish or try to steal their food. but then i throw pieces at the magpies and they catch it with their beaks. so if i throw the piece high in air the magpies fly and catch the food in air. the 2 lorikeets wont even let other random lorikeets to eat and even chase them away.

          neither lorikeets or magpies or noisy miners have ever done any harm to us but the cockatoos tore apart the netting of my windows and i stopped feeding them since then.

          i sometimes get a big crow who will always dip the food in bird bath and then eat it.

          so i will suggest just feed them and they will wait for you like a family member

      • +3

        Crows are much larger but far more timid. We have both and the crows won't come near the magpies.

        True. You need to buy about 5 to 6 Flamingoes. That'll get rid of your Magpie problem. Plus HELLLLOOO!

    • +1

      the magpies will return with a white walker

  • +4

    Make friends with them. They get to know you. Feed them away from your deck. They will sing beautiful songs to you once they know you, it's really quite special.

    • When I am away, my dog doesn't befriend with them

  • What is attracting them to the deck?

    • +1

      My guess would be the dogs food/water.

      • That would be my guess too and if so the solution is simple.

        • What.?
          Lock the dog up inside and fill up the pool with dirt?

          • +4

            @lovepub: Or don't leave your dog's food out

            • @Quantumcat: I dont. There is nothing in my yard that is edible.

              • @lovepub: Do you have a lot of small stones in your yard? I know crows swallow small stones to help them digest, perhaps magpies are the same.

                • -1

                  @phanpymon: Nope.
                  Reason they come around is the pool water.
                  I barely have garden in my backyard. All deck and pool.

                  Back neighbour on their side of fence has heaps of big tall trees though.

                  But the birds like my side of fence.
                  And likes my dog. They just stand on other side of pool glass fence and tease my dog.

                  Pretty smart for a bird size brain animal.

                  • @lovepub: Clearly smarter than you!

                    They will prefer a fresh water bird bath to drink from over your dog's water or the pool water.

        • +2

          That would be my guess too and if so the solution is simple.

          Correct. You need to violently burn down your deck.

  • +10

    Tell them they'd have to brush their teeth before entering the venue…

    … oh wait, you mean the avian species.

    • +7

      Nah he means the football team, they shit anywhere and don't care.

    • +3

      Tell them they'd have to brush their tooth before entering the venue


  • +4

    They are a protected species. You can’t hurt them.

    Train your dog. Move food and water sources. Learn to get along with Mother Nature.

    Yu we lucky it’s not cockatoos with the horrible noise they make.

    • You can’t hurt them.

      I'm fairly certain you mean shouldn't.

      Important distinction. Can't would mean you can try, but it's not possible.

      Just in case OP decides to shoot the birds.

      • +4

        Ok. You can’t hurt them without breaking the law. Wether you get caught and prosecuted or not will depend on lots of factors.

        • Self defence.

          It was coming straight for me with sharp objects.

          • -11

            @DisabledUser88699: No body knows it's me when they lie dead in the bush

            • +3

              @lovepub: They can trace the cloth fibres from the bullet left in the bird and run it through the database to cross reference the batch of cloth to the manufacturer.

              It will eventually come back to you.

              • +10

                @DisabledUser88699: They can also piece the bullet back together revealing a reflection of you holding a gun.

                • +1

                  @iforgotmysocks: I feel like they'd do all that to issue a traffic infringement.

                  Gotta make them government dollars.

                  • @DisabledUser88699: CSI Miami theme playing in the background as you round a bend in the road and drive 41km/h past a parked police car with flashing lights on a 110km/h freeway

                    • @hymio: Would that be
                      A) driving severely under the speed limit
                      B) driving too quickly around a corner
                      C) not driving to conditions


                • @iforgotmysocks: A reflection of a mirror, off the reflection off the water of you holding a gun… enhance…..enhance….enhance

            • @lovepub: Not if they peck your eyes out first!

    • Cockatoos are like stand up comedian: faaaark faaaaark! Faaaaarrk youuuu!

      • +1

        Cockatoos are actually probably the second smartest species of bird in the world after corvids (crows and ravens). It is remarkably easy to quickly make friends with even wild cockatoos just by offering them food. They become trusting very quickly. It is just unfortunate that they need to chew on things, sometimes quite valuable and important things, to control the growth of their beaks, and they need to screech to the rest of the flock. So encouraging them to come to your house is often very unpopular with neighbours and the local council.

        • what sort of stuff do they like ?

          • +2

            @juki: Give them sunflower seeds and you have a friend for life. Its probably better to give them some sunflower seeds and some wild bird seed - both available at supermarkets - separate on a dish.

            • +3

              @GordonD: Cockatoos also like a quarter slice of brown grainy bread. They pick it up in their beak, fly up into a tree, hold onto it with their left foot - all cockatoos are left footed - and eat it. But it should only be given to it as a dessert, not as their primary food source.

  • +8

    We get magpies, cockatoos and kookaburras and none of them make a mess. The pets have gotten used to of their presence and don't bark at them. None of these birds have ever tried to attack anyone in our cul-de-sac..and add to the neighbourhood appeal.

    They are protected so please don't hurt them. Most of their habitat is already being taken by people or those bloody swooping myna birds. Just put a bird bath away from your deck and should be alright. Cheers!

    • One persons “They crap all over my back deck, on my drying clothes” is another persons “meh, it’s only a spot or two”.

      • One persons “They crap all over my back deck, on my drying clothes” is another persons “I see a couple of magpies around my area”.

        • +2

          Cockatoos tore great chunks from a pair of my sneakers I left hanging on the line overnight and I'm still cool with them.

    • +1

      and add to the neighbourhood appeal.

      Do real estate agents list this as a feature in advertorials for Sales in the area?

    • Magpies do swoop during swooping season, which is when their babies are coming down out of the nest in about September. They are just trying to protect their kids. If you just walk near their nest they'll swoop to try to chase you away. They can and will do worse and actually attack if you look like a predator chasing their kids by running or riding a bike. So all you need to do is walk, or walk you bike, in that immediate area. They have a sharp spike on the tip of their beak that can do damage.

      The only way other birds "attack" people is when those people attack them and they are defending themselves. A cockatoo's beak can do damage if it bites you.

      • +2

        Magpies may swoop but not if you make friends with them they will then ignore you so a simple feed every so often they see you as a friend and you won't have a problem with them swooping you

  • +9

    If you get rid of them, you may be inundated with Indian Miners. They are a shit stain.

    • +3

      Seems like a strange consequence of getting rid of magpies?

      Surely if Indian miners were in Australia they'd be too busy working in an Australian mine to be hanging around OP's deck all day.

    • +1

      There is no such an animal as "Indian Miners". Australians commonly confuse two different bird species. Indian Mynahs (Mynah means starling in Indian) which are an aggressive introduced pest species that drives out native species. They are brown. You can do what you like to them. And Noisy Miners which are an aggressive native species that chases other species, even ones bigger than them, but doesn't drive away other native birds. They are grey with yellow around the eye.

  • +4

    If you can't beat them, join them.

    …time for deals on black and white spray paint, ductape, and cardboard wings.

    • +16

      If you can't beat them, join them.

      Yes OP, start shitting on your deck.

      • +1

        And drinking from pool

  • I remember one of my colleagues mentioned a similar issue, I think bird spikes is what he bought

    • +4

      Best somutuon for getting away from magpies might be to move where they aren’t a native animal. Then again, you’ll probably find something else to harass you wherever you end up.

  • +2

    Swoop down on them and attack their heads. Assert your dominance. Local chicks go wild over that stuff. Also great way to protect your family from others.

    Beware, they may start wearing helmets with zipties.

  • +1

    Set up a regular bird food spot in the corner of your backyard to keep them away from the deck. If you cant kill them entice them.

    • They come fir play not food. That's the problem

  • Could you net your backyard? Not the best outcome but would work…

    • Nah… area is too big to net . Wouldn't work for my backyard.

      Big headache

  • +3


  • +6

    Motion sensored sprinklers.

  • Do you want my neighbour's cat? He's a brutal bird killer : he toys with them before he rips their head off :( We love birds but we also love cats and not sure what to do about the situation.

    • Really not a cat person. But what type of cat?

      • A black one. It's our neighbour's, so not really ours to give away . Just realised that you're also a fair distance from us. We're in Melb.

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