October 24, 2014
I think we have all noticed that it’s that time of year again when we are trying to avoid those pesky swooping magpies. During breeding season this behaviour is common as adults protect their nests and of course their young. If you spot a young magpie on the ground your first instinct is to offer them some assistance. However, this is not always the best option for the fledgling. Young magpies tend to fall out of their nests when learning to fly but this does not mean they are abandoned by the parents. In fact magpies feed on the ground, hence the fledglings may be learning to feed themselves or the parents will be collecting food for them not far away.
When people try to intervene, apart from increasing their chances of getting swooped by the adults, they are potentially putting the youngsters through unnecessary stress. If you see a young magpie on the ground the best thing to do is observe it and if it is not in any immediate danger, leave it, even if it cant fly. It is perfectly normal for them to be on the ground from a few days even up to a couple of weeks, but the parents are never far away. If however you think it is in danger, move it to a close by branch or safe place out of harms way where the parents can still find it. Only bring young magpies into a vet clinic if they are injured and make sure you remember exactly where you found them in case they can be returned. If you are unsure feel free to call us and we will be happy to discuss with you.