Is it OK to offer beef mince to magpies that occasionally visit my suburban yard?

They have juveniles with them.

Asked by Gayle Adams

2 answers

  • Hi Gayle

    It’s not advisable to offer any type of food to native animals. It’s important for them to seek and source food by utilising their own foraging skills. Magpies are particularly resourceful and will survive quite well without being fed.

    Offering birds food in a suburban backyard can encourage other birds to visit and proliferate not just in the yard where they are being fed but in neighbouring yards. This can become a nuisance for neighbours having to deal with excessive and aggressive bird activity, especially Magpies and Noisy Minors which can swoop.

    It is advised that our smaller native bird species should be attracted to yards by passive means through appropriate plantings and enjoyed by sitting quietly in your yard/park/playground and keenly observing.


    Matt Leary
    Supervisor Bushland & Coast Walk | Randwick City Council

    Answered by Fiona Campbell
    Green Beret
    Rating: 0
  • Hi

    Habitat creation and providing water, mulch and leaf litter to provide a haven for worms and insects which they will naturally eat, is a much better way to go!

    Here is a link from the Birds in Backyards guidelines for creating habitat

    Specifically re feeding mince - it does not contain all the nutrients they need, including the minerals needed for their bones, which can then become brittle if they become dependent, especially when feeding young.

    Another issue is that it is usually the larger, more aggressive birds that will come for food and their build-up in numbers may be detrimental to the small birds, which are already in dire straits in our urban areas - having been lost totally from many suburbs! A concentration of birds may also lead to diseases spreading.

    Here’s an ABC link

    best regards


    Answered by Fiona Campbell
    Green Beret
    Rating: 0

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