The magpie is a black-and-white bird with a very long tail. It is a member of the crow family. When the wings are folded, the magpie has a white breast and a white patch in each side. Magpies live on insects, grubs, berries and carrion, with occasional frogs and snails. They have also been known to kill small pets such as baby guinea pigs. Magpies supplement their diet in the breeding season by raiding nests of smaller birds and eating the eggs and baby chicks. Their numbers have increased by 112% over the last 30 years and they are now the 13th most commonly seen bird in British gardens. Whilst most bird protecton organisations stuggle to explain why songbirds are declining so rapidly in Britain, many enlightened observers believe magpies and carrion crows are a significant part of the problem. Control is best in the spring using Larsen Traps.
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