10 Cool Tips to Stop Magpies Digging up Your Garden

Tired of witnessing your once-pristine garden transformed into a magpie excavation site? Fear not, green thumbs and nature enthusiasts!

Unleash the power of seven ingenious tips that will thwart those mischievous magpies from turning your beloved oasis into their personal treasure hunt.

These feathered friends may be charming in their own right, but their penchant for digging up gardens can leave even the most patient gardener feeling exasperated.

Dive into the following strategies, ranging from the quirky to the scientific, and bid farewell to magpie-induced garden chaos. It’s time to take control and reclaim your garden sanctuary!

Stop Magpies Digging

7 Tips to Stop Magpies Digging up Your Garden

Struggling to protect your garden from magpies’ relentless digging? Fear not! Discover seven effective tips to keep those mischievous birds at bay and preserve the sanctity of your green haven.

Magpies can add a touch of charm to your surroundings, but when they start turning your garden into their personal excavation site, it’s time to take action. Unearth the secrets to thwarting magpies with these seven tips designed to preserve the beauty of your outdoor haven.

Decoy Distractions:

Distract magpies with strategically placed decoys and bird feeders, drawing their attention away from your garden treasures. These clever decoys provide an attractive alternative, keeping the magpies entertained without disrupting your flora.

Shiny Repellents:

Capitalizing on magpies’ fascination with shiny objects, strategically place reflective items like CDs or aluminum foil in your garden. The play of light will discourage magpies, ensuring they keep their beaks and claws away from your carefully nurtured plants.

Scents as Sentinels:

Harness the power of scents that magpies find repulsive. Consider using natural deterrents like citrus peels, chili powder, or strong-smelling herbs around the garden. Magpies have a keen sense of smell, and these aromas act as natural barriers to deter their digging antics.

Mulch Mastery:

Employ mulch strategically to cover the exposed soil in your garden. Magpies are less likely to dig through mulch, which serves as a protective barrier while also benefiting your plants by retaining moisture and suppressing weeds.

Motion-Activated Defenders:

Invest in motion-activated devices that startle magpies with unexpected movement or sounds. These innovative gadgets serve as automated guardians, deterring magpies and preserving the tranquility of your garden without constant manual intervention.

Secure the Perimeter:

Create a physical barrier around your garden using wire mesh or netting. This not only prevents magpies from accessing the soil but also safeguards your plants from other potential threats. A secure perimeter is a proactive step towards maintaining your garden’s integrity.

Garden Harmony with Habitat:

Encourage a balanced ecosystem by attracting natural magpie predators, such as birds of prey. This creates a harmonious environment where magpies are less likely to linger, ensuring a healthier balance in your garden’s delicate ecosystem.

Embrace these tips, and bid farewell to magpie-induced garden havoc. With a strategic approach, you can protect your garden oasis while allowing both humans and birds to coexist peacefully.

Stop Magpies Digging
Pest Netting that allows the pollinators in and keeps birds, possums and rabbits out of the vegetable garden. Australian Noisy Minor Bird on the net.

What are Magpies?

Magpies are highly intelligent and social birds belonging to the Corvidae family. Known for their striking black and white plumage, these avian creatures are often associated with folklore and superstitions.

Revered for their vocal prowess, magpies are recognized for their melodious songs and mimicry abilities. Their omnivorous diet includes insects, small animals, and even scavenged food, making them adaptable and resourceful.

Often considered symbols of good luck or omens, magpies are also notorious for their inclination towards shiny objects, a behavior that has contributed to various myths and legends.

As part of the corvid family, which includes ravens and crows, magpies exhibit remarkable problem-solving skills, cementing their reputation as clever and resourceful birds.

Whether admired for their distinctive appearance or feared for superstitions, magpies captivate the imagination of many with their unique characteristics and behaviors.

What Do Magpies Eat?

Magpies, highly intelligent and adaptive birds, boast a diverse diet that encompasses both animal and plant matter.

These omnivorous avians are notorious for scavenging, often indulging in small mammals, insects, and even the occasional nestling. Magpies, opportunistic eaters, are known to feast on human food scraps, exhibiting their adaptability to urban environments.

Their omnivorous nature extends to fruits, berries, and seeds, making them significant contributors to seed dispersal.

This intriguing behavior has led to various cultural references, emphasizing their captivating and sometimes mischievous nature. Whether in urban landscapes or natural habitats, magpies’ dietary versatility and cunning behavior continue to captivate observers.

Where Do Magpies Live?

Magpies, recognized for their striking black and white plumage, are highly adaptable birds found across a diverse range of habitats.

These intelligent creatures inhabit a variety of environments, including woodlands, parks, and urban areas. With their strong adaptability, magpies are often observed nesting in tall trees, creating intricately woven nests using twigs and other materials.

As social birds, they are known to establish communal roosts, where their melodious calls resonate. Magpies are not confined to specific regions, exhibiting a cosmopolitan distribution that spans continents.

Their distinctive appearance and clever behavior make them a captivating presence in both rural and suburban landscapes. Whether in bustling cityscapes or serene countryside, these birds thrive, showcasing their resilience and ability to coexist with human habitats.

Observing magpies in diverse settings adds to the allure of these charismatic birds, creating a connection between nature and our everyday surroundings.

Why do Magpies Dig Holes?

Magpies, known for their intelligent and curious nature, exhibit a fascinating behavior that often leaves observers intrigued: digging holes. These enigmatic birds, often associated with superstitions and folklore, engage in this activity for various reasons.

  • Magpies are notorious for their love of shiny objects, and their hole-digging may be a quest for buried treasures or cached food.
  • These birds are meticulous nest builders, and hole digging could serve as a precursor to constructing elaborate nests.
  • Some ornithologists believe that this behavior is linked to territorial instincts, as magpies establish their presence by marking the landscape with these distinctive excavations.

Why magpies dig holes unveils a layer of their complex social dynamics and provides birdwatchers with an opportunity to delve into the captivating world of these intelligent corvids.

As we unravel the mysteries behind magpie hole digging, we gain deeper insights into the intricate lives of these charismatic birds.

How to Stop Magpies Digging up Your Garden

No. Method Description

Shiny Deterrents

Place reflective objects in the garden to discourage magpies from digging. They are often deterred by shiny surfaces.

Natural Barriers

Use natural elements like rocks or thorny plants around vulnerable areas to create barriers that deter magpies from digging.


Apply mulch to the soil surface, as magpies may find it less appealing to dig through and search for insects.

Noise Distractions

Introduce mild noise disturbances, such as wind chimes or water features, to create an environment less conducive to magpie digging.

Scarecrow Tactics

Set up scarecrows or other decoys in the garden to create a visual deterrent and keep magpies away from the soil.

Secure Trash Bins

Ensure that trash bins are securely closed to prevent magpies from being attracted to potential food sources in your garden.

Planting Magpie-Resistant Plants

Select plants that magpies find less appealing, such as those with strong scents or prickly textures, to minimize digging interest.

Pet Presence

Allow pets like dogs or cats to roam in the garden, as their presence can act as a natural deterrent for magpies.

Soil Amendments

Use soil amendments with strong scents or tastes that magpies dislike, making the digging experience less enjoyable for them.

Professional Advice

Seek advice from local wildlife experts or pest control services for tailored solutions to address magpie digging issues.


The Basics: How to Get Rid of Magpies

It seems like you’re interested in addressing an issue with magpies. Here’s a brief overview based on the headings you provided:

Scaring Away Magpies in Your Yard

Visual Deterrents: Use shiny objects, reflective materials, or decoys to scare magpies away. They are often frightened by bright and moving objects.

Noisemakers: Creating loud noises can help deter magpies. This could include clapping hands, banging pots, or using devices that produce loud sounds.

Spray Magpies with Water or Vinegar

Water Sprays: Magpies may be deterred by a gentle spray of water. Use a hose or a water spray bottle to discourage them from specific areas.
Vinegar: Some birds dislike the smell of vinegar. Mix vinegar with water and spray the mixture in areas where magpies are a problem.

The Secret is The Crow Call

Crow Calls: Magpies are often in conflict with crows, and the sound of a crow call can be unsettling for them. Consider using a recorded crow call to discourage magpies from your property.

Make Nesting Areas Uncomfortable for Magpies

Remove Nesting Materials: Magpies often build nests in high places. Regularly check and remove any nesting materials they may be collecting.

Install Spikes or Netting: Make the nesting sites less comfortable by installing spikes or netting in the areas where magpies commonly build their nests.

Trap and Relocate the Magpies

Humane Traps: Use humane traps designed for magpies. Once trapped, relocate them to an appropriate area away from your property.

Consult Local Regulations: Check local regulations regarding the trapping and relocation of magpies, as it may require a permit in some areas.

Always ensure that your methods comply with local wildlife regulations, and it’s essential to approach the situation humanely and ethically. If the magpie population is causing significant issues, consider seeking advice from local wildlife authorities or professionals for a more tailored solution.

Stop Magpies Digging

FAQs – Protecting Your Garden from Magpies:

Q1: How do I know if magpies are causing damage to my garden?

A1: Look for telltale signs such as disturbed soil, upturned plants, and scattered mulch. Magpies, with their natural inclination to dig, often leave unmistakable evidence of their gardening mischief.

Q2: Are magpies harmful to my plants, or is the digging just a nuisance?

A2: While magpies may not intentionally harm your plants, their digging can uproot and damage delicate roots. It’s essential to address this behavior to maintain the health and aesthetics of your garden.

Q3: Do decoys really work in diverting magpies’ attention?

A3: Yes, strategically placed decoys and bird feeders can be effective. Magpies are easily distracted, and providing alternative points of interest can help steer them away from your garden.

Q4: What scents are most effective in deterring magpies from digging?

A4: Magpies dislike strong scents like citrus, chili powder, and certain herbs. Placing these around your garden creates a natural olfactory barrier, discouraging them from engaging in disruptive digging activities.

Q5: How do motion-activated devices contribute to magpie deterrence?

A5: Motion-activated devices startle magpies with unexpected movements or sounds, teaching them to associate your garden with discomfort. These automated defenders add an extra layer of protection without the need for constant monitoring.

Q6: Can wire mesh or netting effectively keep magpies out of my garden?

A6: Yes, creating a physical barrier using wire mesh or netting can be a reliable solution. This not only prevents magpies from accessing the soil but also safeguards your plants from potential damage.

Q7: Are there any natural ways to encourage a balanced ecosystem in my garden?

A7: Absolutely. Attracting natural magpie predators, such as birds of prey, can help maintain a harmonious balance. This approach promotes a healthier ecosystem where magpies are less likely to establish a disruptive presence in your garden.

Q8: Are magpies harmful to my plants, or is the digging just a nuisance?

A2: While magpies may not intentionally harm your plants, their digging can uproot and damage delicate roots. It’s essential to address this behavior to maintain the health and aesthetics of your garden.


In conclusion, addressing the issue of magpies digging up your garden requires a multifaceted approach.

The tips provided, including visual and auditory deterrents, water or vinegar sprays, the use of crow calls, making nesting areas uncomfortable, and humane trapping, offer a comprehensive strategy to discourage magpies from disrupting your outdoor space.

It’s essential to consider the well-being of these birds and adhere to local regulations when implementing control measures.

By combining these methods and staying informed about humane practices, you can strike a balance that protects your garden while respecting the natural behavior of magpies in your environment.

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