Dang Magpies

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roche

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Terry the tortoise, of some four score years, spends the summer months outside. Normally easy going and happy to share, this year some Black and White corvids have moved in next door, and are robbing his feeding bowls empty. Most intolerable. Terry is at his wits end, wondering how to keep his food. The Magpies are quite bold, even going into the cats (lazy bugger that he is!) feeding hutch to rob his food. So under cover won't work. A full fruit cage feels a bit OTT. Any suggestions? He's even taken to basking in the sun with his head pulled in, poor sod.
 
A large flat board above the feed just high enough for him to get under easily might put them off. They don't like to go too far into where they can't fly.
 
Corvids used to regularly raid our chicken feeders, which are suspended from a chain. I added some vertical wires to the feeders which prevent them landing on the edge with their wings spread. They really weren't happy about that. There was lots of unpleasant noise coming from the chicken runs for a day or two until they gave up and went elsewhere.

Perhaps something similar might work for the cat if the food is up sufficiently high that the magpies can't reach it from standing? Really not sure about the tortoise though. Some sort of cage might be the easiest solution in the short term.

James
 
Thanks for the replies. I think I will start with a pallisade of electric fence standards, spaced so that the tortoise can get through. If that is insufficient, then I will add the electricity....I would prefer not to dispatch them, in spite of being on moi laand. They just need their habits modified.
 
Thanks for the replies. I think I will start with a pallisade of electric fence standards, spaced so that the tortoise can get through. If that is insufficient, then I will add the electricity....I would prefer not to dispatch them, in spite of being on moi laand. They just need their habits modified.
For the record, landownership and tenure is irrelevant when it comes to what is legal and illegal with respect to the General Licence.
 
For the pedants among us, the definition of livestock is pretty hopeless. The definition/reference says

‘Livestock’ is as defined in section 27(1) of the 1981 Act. This expression includes gamebirds kept in an enclosure or which are free roaming but remain significantly dependent on the provision of food, water, or shelter (by and within the release pen) by a keeper for their survival. The placement of supplementary food out into the environment for wild gamebirds does not mean those wild gamebirds are ‘kept’ and it does not therefore make them ‘livestock’.

But fails to identify which act. One could imply the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 - but it does not appear to refer to livestock. So I would maintain that a kept tortoise is livestock, and that damage to its food is covered by the general license.

As to land ownership and tenure, the general license "includes the owner or occupier of the land on which action authorised by this licence is to be taken, or any person authorised by the owner or occupier."
 
Table 1 indicates that you can take action for direct attack on livestock, but says no in foodstuffs and spread of disease section, whereas I'm pretty sure this was permitted under the old GL.
I see what you mean - thanks for clearing that up. It almost seems to contradict the opening paragraph. Or the opening paragraph is too general, or something...Not that I was contemplating action of a drastic magnitude you understand...
 

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