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Magpie eating baby robins - Larsen Mate trap

I am not keen on magpies but generally tolerate them, plus so many of my neighbours are keen on getting rid they don't generally stay round that long (the magpies not the neighbours)

this year there is a nest within 20 yds of the house, and an hour or so ago there was some squealing just outside the window as the magpie took a recently fledged robin.  Well actually just stabbed it in the head before I disturbed it as I went to see what was going on

I am not sure I want the responsibility of a Larsen trap but after some googling came up with this


What does everyone think - the idea of 5 to 10 magpies around in a few weeks is not appealing

All the best
chicken feed

mum and dad have caught 20 maggies so far this year.

dad built his own trap after loosing eggs and chicks late last year to them.

If you're prepared to take the responsibility of despatching the caught magpies, then I'd say it has to be a definate contender!

Larsens can be devasting on local numbers within a fairly short time period, & now's the time to get one down! If you leave it much longer, you'll probaby find that the ones you already have will attract others as they constantly battle for territory, & you'll end up with an ongoing battle against them.

I hate the damn things!

I !%$*!$* hate Magpies, this year I have found 3 finches nests wrecked by them in our back garden and a Long Tailed Tits in the lane at the front, but as soon as I sit and wait with my gun I dont see any for days.    

We used to only see them on the M8 Edinburgh-Glasgow corridor. In recent years though, they've been moving Northwards inexorably. Damn things are as bad as cats for songbird depredation  

I don't take issue with them taking songbirds--I don't think any wild bird is more deserving of life than another just because we happen to like them more, and I think magpies are a beautiful looking bird anyway. However when they trash my wing mirrors and take my eggs and chicks it's personal and they have to be discouraged.

I am not sure if the link to the one I was thinking of was obvious but it is this one

I was thinking of baiting it with eggs

Presumably the normal Larsen traps need a call bird, and I would a- have to source one, and b - look after it for the season

These traps are designed to make getting your initial call-bird easier, Sue. To be honest, I'm not sure you need one of these as a long-term solution. Larsen traps really are extremely effective, & I'd definately recommend one. You do need to ensure your call bird has food & water, & it's recommended that you change them periodically, but as with most things a modicum of effort pays dividends  


I thought it was difficult but a friend lent me a Larsen trap as we have several nesting near and it has been easypeasy and my new wing mirrors are still intact --I know I can put bags over but my husband forgets and then they are cracked again where they've been admiring their reflections,and my eggs are now left. I still keep chicks/ducklings in now until they are bigger after losing them to protect from magpies/crows/kites/buzzards so I don't know if it's improved that situation.

The trap mates are really intended to be used around an existing larsen, effectively giving it more trap compartments whilst using the larsen's call bird as bait.

However, I do know one chap up here who uses them on their own with an egg or two to great success.

If I was going to spend £40 one one of those, I'd stick the extra £20 in and get a proper larsen.

You could initially bait it with eggs but with a bit of asking around, I bet you'll find a game keeper nearby who would give you a call bird.

Many thanks for the replies everyone.  It looks as though you are saying I shall have to keep a call bird.  I was hoping that one of those other traps baited with eggs would do the trick.  Do you think it might be worth baiting a rabbit trap with eggs first just in case?  

If I do have to keep a call bird I think I may make a much bigger trap altogether, so I will feel a bit happier keeping a bird inside for a season.  Apparently they become quite tame eventually, and can be kept year after year if you wish, which may/maynot be kinder than trapping a fresh one each time.

If I did there is a wooded bit in the corner of an old orchard, which is shaded but get sun and air as well.  I am sure it would be OK for the call bird to live but would the target birds find the trap?

The trouble with life as I live it is that unless I decide to a life of Buddhist monkhood where you sweep the path before you walk on it to protect any insects from crushing hazards, I think something is going to suffer as a result of my existence, so where does one draw the line.  

I don't know if this will amuse you as it did me, but there is a website denigrating the use of any traps, and saying how "unkind" it is to allow young magpies to starve to death when their parents are taken, and implying that people who use Larsen traps are more interested in killing raptors than crows.  I wonder if they ever think of the millions of young songbirds which starve to death when either raptors or crows take their parents.  Presumably this is "nature" so cannot be "unkind"

It reminds me of site where it say that it is a fallacy that foxes eat chickens    

All the best

PS What do we think of this one

Just accept that anything we do is an interference with nature in one way or another.

Just to say Darkbrowneggs that I have occasionally caught magpies in a rabbit trap baited with an egg before my neighbour lent me the Larsen--it did work but the Larsen trap is much more succesful. I just wish the rabbit trap was as good for catching rabbits

PS What do we think of this one[/quote]

That looks like it'll do the job, will look better when it looses the newness.

I made my larsen trap with wood and chicken wire at a fraction of the cost,you can get the springs for the doors from here
I've had almost 30 this spring,I try and keep the same call bird all year and let him go at the end of the year  

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