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Prey for Our Soul — 9 Comments

  1. Looked up “Superstitions of the Countryside” (a faithful companion on many a boring flight). Anyway the general thrust is to leave them be, because they’re vindictive bastards.

    Story goes that they refused to get into the ark, just so they could fly around the thing and piss everything off. And they’ve got black and white plumage on account they didn’t pay homage when HE was crucified.

    Oh, and if a bunch of them start circling round a house, then someone inside is going to die. And if they chatter around a single person then he will die.

    Doesn’t say anything about cats dying, but they’ve got 9 lives, so presumably the inconsiderate shit that’s at the centre of your moan has lost a couple over the past week or so.

    Naturally the birds have young and the feline represents a threat. Swallows do that – and when they do I spray water on cat. Works every time, except I get grateful Swallows – and they dump on the bleeding car as a great big thank you.

    • Sounds to me like they have made it their business to piss off everyone over the ages.  The only interest I have in superstitions is to make a habit of spilling salt and walking under ladders.  So far as superstitions about magpies go, in my book they’re fair game [pun intended].  I try where possible to protect all wildlife species [not including a lot of humans] but magpies are very much at the wrong end of the spectrum along with wasps, slugs, ticks and bluebottles.

  2. We have two seagulls nesting on a roof here, with three young chicks.  At least, there were three, now two, thanks to the attentions of a group of magpies.  Parents try fantically to prevent magpie attacks, but clearly do not always succeed.  Torn between sadness for the seagull’s loss and our better way of life – incessant early morning noise and one of them constantly tries to peck his way into our house – it is still hard to acknowledge the need for them to find food wherever they can.P.S. Seagulls frighten our cats, but magpies not often.  Can I shoot either on the grounds of terrorism?  Really don’t care about superstition.

    • A few times recently I have seen a pair or more of some small bird species chasing away a magpie.  The latter really are the rodents of the air.

      We don’t get many seagulls here, being well inland. The only time they visit is when there is a major storm brewing somewhere.

  3. If you ever get lucky with the rock, you could always enjoy the smell of a roasting magpie in your oven instead of the poor old chicken.  Who knows – you might even manage to live up to the old motto of “killing two birds with one stone” and get yourself a double dinner!  You can, of course, always bid “good day” to it as you put it – plucked and stuffed, as they say – into the kitchen appliance, just to be on the safe side!

    • No they won’t (move away from it that is).
      At the falconry where I sometimes help out, the magpies have a perfect sense of time. They show up when we fly and feed the eagles – we usually throw the food for the eagles on the roof where they then land and pick it up. Except when the resident magpies have read the clock correctly and show perfect timing in picking up the food on the roof just before the eagle is close enough to pose any threat.
      I’m sure you can paint as many birds of prey on the roof as you like – the magpies will easily see through it and will be greatly unimpressed.

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