How To Get Rid of Magpies: 11 Effective Ways

Magpies are resourceful and persistent birds. While they may be beautiful to look at, with striking colors like blue, black, tan, and green hues, they can quickly become an issue for a homeowner on their never-ending search for food.

Since magpies are omnivores, they will eat just about anything, leaving huge messes behind when they are done.

They have also been known to get into garbage, eat through trash, and even try to get into garages or homes. So how do you get rid of magpies?

Getting rid of magpies can be incredibly difficult. These birds are well adapted and very resourceful. They also have been living alongside humans for so long now that they almost rely on us to survive.

Since these creatures associate humans and homes with food, they are attracted to the area and oftentimes will be a difficult houseguest to convince to leave.

The best way to get rid of magpies is to use a combination of approaches that help both scare them off and prevent them from coming back or drawing new magpies to your space.

Read on to learn more about the types of approaches you can take to get your yard back from these adorable, yet annoying, creatures. 

What is a Magpie?

A magpie is a species of bird that can be found throughout the world. These birds have striking color patterns usually involving black, blue, and white. However, some even have spots of tan or green on them. 

Magpies are incredibly smart birds. The Eurasian Magpie is considered to be one of the smartest bird species in the world. It is easy to see that while they can be fun to spot on occasion, a magpie problem in your garden space will easily become quite the headache. 

Magpies are foragers and omnivores, meaning they will eat just about everything and anything. They have found that living amongst humans helps provide them with necessities without much work on their end. They tend to dominate areas quickly. 

They have also been known to aggravate and even attack pets and humans. While a swooping magpie may be cool to watch from a distance, it would be frightening for it to be swooping at you and not to mention annoying when you have to continuously worry about the magpies anytime you step outside.

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Getting Rid of Magpies

So, what can we do to protect ourselves, our pets, and our garbage cans from attracting magpies? 

Since magpies are so smart and adaptive, it is best to take a multi-step approach.

Using multiple strategies will increase the chances of your plan working as well as help prevent new magpies from coming. The last thing you want when trying to get rid of magpies, is more magpies. 

Keep your Yard Clean

Cleaning up the backyard

Preventing magpies and other animals from nesting in your yard includes not providing them a space to do so.

If your yard is untidy, messy, or full of debris, magpies and even crows will see it as a great place to set up camp.

Take a look in your yard, look for things and places that provide food, water, or shelter for the birds. Simply cleaning up the space may be enough to get the magpies to move on out.

Store Trash Properly

What you see as rubbish, a magpie sees as food and nesting materials. Magpies are not above rummaging through the trash, often leaving a huge mess behind when they do.

The mess not only attracts more magpies, but also other forager animals. Raccoons, possums, and even bears (if local) love trash.

Be sure to store your garbage bags safely and securely in cans with lids that close properly.

Clearly Away Dead Branches and Plants

Magpies love twigs and old brushes. These materials are great for providing sturdy foundations in their nests.

Keeping your yard free of dead branches and brush will help keep your space unappealing to magpies in general.

Scarecrows Scare Magpies

Take this idea straight from the old farmers. This tried and true tip is so old, it may even seem like folklore, but creating a scarecrow really can help scare off magpies.

Similar to the way that farmers use scarecrows to protect their garden space, you can use one to keep the birds out of your yard. 

Do Not Feed the Magpies

While this may seem like the obvious response, you may not intentionally be feeding or watering the magpies.

Like all animals, magpies are looking for easy and accessible food and water and it may crop up in places you would not expect. 

First, get rid of any sources of water. Obvious ones include bird baths and leaking hoses.

Toys and tools that collect water should be drained and put away. Cover pools or drain smaller ones and store away from the magpies.

Now, look up. Check your gutters for standing water. Cleaning them regularly will prevent buildups and blockages that would prevent the water from draining properly.

Try installing a gutter guard to keep your gutters clutter and bird free. 

White 6" Gutter Guards
White 6″ Gutter Guards

If you enjoyed a picnic or outdoor BBQ, clean it up immediately. Leaving food scraps or garbage out is too enticing to passing magpies. Even condiments and dirty plates would be enough to peak their interest. 

While thinking of it, move all pet food indoors as well. Even grain fed to cattle or other livestock can be a delicious treat for magpies.

Feed the animals in buckets that you can remove from the area when they are done eating. 

Who doesn’t love watching birds at the feeder? Magpies. Especially when they are not the ones eating at it.

Bird Feeder
A Bird Feeder – Source:

It is best to put the feeder away if you are dealing with magpies as they will chase away the smaller birds and eat all the seeds. 

In the future, place a small caged tube feeder in your yard for the smaller birds. It is easy for them to use and feed on, but prevents medium or large birds from taking over and eating all the seeds. 

Make Some Noise

Magpies do not like noise. Simply playing the radio in your yard can help deter them.

Adding some wind chimes or even placing belles in trees can help scare away the magpies.

You can even invest in an ultrasonic pest repeller. These are motion activated and will play an ultrasonic wave length that irritates pests while not irritating humans. 

ultrasonic pest repeller
Ultrasonic pest repeller

Shine Bright

Similar to noise, magpies do not like flashing lights. While it may not be ideal to run a strobe or flashing light in your backyard, you can make some shiny surfaces.

Hanging old CDs in trees, wrapping things in aluminum foil, purchasing bird scare tape or pinwheels, or using any reflective surface can work! 

Place them in places that the sun will catch them and watch the magpies flee your yard all while adding a little sparkle to your day. 

Bird Netting

Covering your garden space with a bird net will help prevent magpies and other species from enjoying an all you can eat buffet on your hard earned vegetables.

If you do not want to invest in a large net that covers your whole garden, placing wire netting around plants that are attractive to magpies is an option as well. 

Predator Decoys

Scare off magpies with images of their natural predators: owls, hawks, raptors, dogs, and cats. Placing decoy owls in trees or throughout your yard space may be enough to scare off the birds.

Be sure to let your pets roam the yard when magpies are present. The idea that a cat or dog lives there may be enough to scare them off. 

Motion Activated Sprinkler

A great way to keep both humans and animals off your yard is a motion activated sprinkler.

No one likes being wet, and neither do magpies. Any time one lands on your grass or sends a motion signal, the sprinkler will turn on and spray the magpie.

It should not take long for these smart birds to move on in search of dry land. 

Bird Deterrent Gel

Sticky and unpleasant, bird deterrent gel is a great option for removing magpies. Simply apply the gel like caulk wherever you think the bird is likely to land.

This product is incredibly sticky and will stick to the magpie when it lands. No one enjoys sticky things between their toes, magpies included.

While the gel is effective, be sure to place it in places that magpies would likely be and avoid places traveled by humans. It is very sticky and it will stick to you and your family or pets. 

Final Thoughts

Magpies are incredibly smart and resourceful animals. If they have taken up home in your backyard, they can be incredibly hard to remove. 

The best approach is to use a multitude of tactics to reduce the allure of your garden space to magpies. 

Simply keeping the area clean of debris (both natural and manmade) and trash is a great start. Remove all possible food and water sources.

Then use decoys like owls, scarecrows, or shiny tape to scare magpies away. If all else fails, you can use bird repellent gel or even call an expert to come and help you remove the magpies from your yard.

Image Credits: Wijs-(Wise)/Theother-kev/Daniil-komov via Pexels

About Sara Sabharwal

With a keen eye for design and a wealth of practical knowledge, Sara brings you inspiring ideas, expert tips, and creative solutions to make your backyard the ultimate oasis of comfort and style.

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