10694Black-billed Magpie predation on House Sparrow...
- Nov 1, 2006Hi everyone ,
I had just gotten home from work around 7:30 this morning when I
looked out of my Kitchen window to observe a rather plump Magpie
wolfing down peanuts at our feeding station ...
It was then I noticed him spit out a peanut to chase ,on foot , a
very tattered and old looking Male House Sparrow that had
mistakingly made the decision to walk across the grass.
It is something I've never seen before and if it wasn't so brutal ,
it would almost have been comical.
The Magpie immediately caught up with the Sparrow , grabbed it by
the scruff of the neck and flew onto our barrel pond where it stood
perched on the edge , still clutching the Sparrow in it's beak .
The water in the barrel of course is frozen over solid .This was
news to the Magpie who didn't realise this and ended up bashing the
hapless Sparrows brains in by thrashing him against the cold hard
He then proceeded to peck away at the poor bird until deciding that
he'd take his prize elsewhere and clamped the now Ex-Sparrow in his
claws and flew off to a nearby Elm Tree where I then lost sight of
The only similar incident I can relate this to , is when we had the
Sharp-shinned Hawk in our yard a few months back .
He too bounded along the ground on foot at high speed after his
quarry , but wasn't as lucky as this Magpie :-)
Nick in Saskatoon