Why do Magpies swoop my chickens?


11 Years
Nov 19, 2008
I have had one of my chickens attacked by a magpie and a few others swooped... once when the chicken was in my hands!

Are they predators to my chickens or are they just being annoying?

I have no magpie nests on my property.
There are no nests. If there were nests, they would swoop me all the time but they don't. Only my chooks o.o

I don't really like that idea... I mean, they haven't actually hurt anyone... they only like to swoop my chooks for some reason o.o

So, I am guessing no one has any idea why these Magpies keep swooping only my chooks?
magpies are very smart creatures, and if they are well fed and healthy they can get bored. they do things to annoy other creatures, the "cause and effect" mentality.

some of the magpies here are very annoying. they imitate you walking anf gargle as if they were having a conversation, in the winter they knock snow off of the eves of your house onto your head and go "YARK YARK YARK!" as if laughing. i've even had some drop pebbles and sticks on my head. VERY mischief little birds

they are likely just trying to entertain themselves by annoying your chickens. they will eventually get bored of it, and if you think you can out smart them, try scaring them off. scarecrows won't work, they will just play with it. throwing something at them might help, but if your not careful you may end up entertaining them a bit.

unless you have very very small bantams, magpies are nothing to worry about. they are just being mischief.
Your choice really... we only have one nasty family in the 8 years we're here... they would chase the pigeons, went into the coop and break eggs, stealing chicks and kill sick chooks....

other than that one lot, the rest have been fine, they nest in our shelter trees, keep it clean of sparrows and chase the hawks away.... and they actually sounds ok when they sing...
Hmmm... New Zealand and Alaska and Australia and who knows where... wonder what the chances are we are all talking about the same specific variety?
i have recently seen the magpies swooping the feral cats at the back of my property. We don't have nests here, but the magpies have young babies with them, teaching them to fly and eat. You would not be able to tell the babies from the adults except that they have shorter tails. They are super noisy as the kids chase mom and dad, begging for food.

i would suspect they are swooping your chickens as they see them as possible predators to their babies.

PS - i'm in Northern California.
True that DDawn The maggies in australia only seem to be a nuisance when its Spring when they have eggs and chicks. I don't know about any other species. Kids in Australia make icecream container hats and paint big eyes on the back of them, this is ment to stop the maggies from swooping them because if a magpie can see you looking at it ,it won,t swoop you.
I put a pic in of what Australian magpies look like.

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