With spring officially upon us, you may notice some of the signs of the changing season. You may be enjoying all of the flowers coming into bloom or the sunshine that’s becoming more and more visible during the day. You may have also noticed that birds seem to be coming out of the woodwork as the weather warms up. Although lots of birds can be pleasant to watch and listen to, there are some that can become annoying and may even take a toll on local agriculture. Magpies are well known for their tendency to eat crops like cherries, corn, nuts, peaches and figs, and humans have been using bird control in Alaska to keep these birds away from crops with chemicals and other methods for decades.
The issue with magpies
Like any animal, magpies that are present in an ecosystem in a reasonable number usually don’t do any significant harm. However, the magpie population has experienced uninhibited growth over the last century, which has led to several concerns, especially in agricultural communities. Magpies are omnivorous birds, which means they will eat just about anything. In areas with high insect populations, magpies tend to leave crops alone, but in areas with lower availability of insects, crops may be threatened significantly.
In addition to the tendency of magpies to eat crops, they can also harm livestock. Magpies often forage for ticks or other insects that are present on livestock. Unfortunately, the magpie doesn’t just pick bugs off of animals and move on. Instead, the bird may find a small wound or scab on the animal and pick at it until it becomes much larger. In many cases, this leads to infection and, eventually, the death of the animal. Magpies also prey on the eggs and hatchlings of birds and poultry, which can endanger local bird populations.
Here are some methods of bird control in Alaska that can be effective when dealing with magpies:
- Frightening them: Magpies are known for their bold personalities, but these birds may become timid or disappear altogether if they are scared or threatened. Even the mere presence of humans may be enough to scare magpies away. Farmers can use scarecrows or simply encourage workers to walk through crops while speaking loudly in order to frighten magpies.
- Livestock exclusion: Since small and sick livestock are the most vulnerable to harm from magpies, many livestock owners keep some livestock in separate pens that can’t be accessed by the birds.
- Nesting prevention: Magpies usually make their nests in low brush or roosting trees that provide a lot of cover, so many people make changes to encourage the birds to find a new nesting spot. The removal of even a few trees is often sufficient to get magpies to move on.
Don’t let magpies damage your crops or livestock this year. Instead, reach out to Pied Piper Pest Control. We are proud to provide comprehensive pest eradication and control services, including bird control in Alaska. We know that it can be frustrating to deal with pests like magpies, so we would be happy to help you create a plan that’s designed to take care of your pest problem for good.
Categorised in: Bird Control
This post was written by Writer