There are two chicks in this nest, but only the head of one can be seen.

There are two chicks in this nest, but only the head of one can be seen.

In July 2015 ‘The State of Australia’s Birds Report’, published by Birdlife Australia, was released.  The findings showed that Australian Magpies were in decline along the east coast of Australia.  So it was with much sadness that I read that Magpies are being culled in the Australian Capital Territory.  See –

Magpies living near Yerrabi Pond in Gungahlin, a suburb of Canberra’s north were killed because the “birds aggressively tried to take food from people.”

The article said, – “that over a long period of time the birds had become accustomed to being fed, and had come to expect food from people in the area.” 

To stop the Magpies from taking food from people the ACT Parks & Conservation trapped seven Magpies & killed them.  They justified this by saying that they did this to stop someone from getting hurt. 

They didn’t try other options, such as close the area where the Magpies frequent for the summer season, to intervene in this behaviour.  It’s not as though there is a shortage of green space in Canberra preventing a section of green space to be closed off for a short period of time. 

They didn’t spend time educating people not to feed the birds.  They didn’t have Rangers on-site to ensure that people respected the new rules & to educate.  I wonder if there are even signs.

They did however relocated one Magpie to Namadgi National Park, knowing full well that Magpies are territorial & don’t relocate successfully.  The bird was back home the following day.    

Because Magpies are not a protected species in the ACT, as they are in New South Wales, they can be killed.  

I do not believe that the only solution was to kill the birds.  I do believe that it was the cheapest & easiest solution for ACT Parks & Conservation.  Taking this action makes a mockery of the ‘conservation’ part of the organization’s title.