What do you use to lure Magpies?

I’d like to get rid of a few Magpies with a Trapworks magpie trap. I’ve set it into the fields where they frequent but haven’t had much luck with to yet despite seeing within a few feet of it.

At the moment I have some butter, a bit of beef jerky and a egg in each compartment.

Any help would be greatly appreciated by me and I’m sure all the native birds in the area.

1 Like

Dog roll by itself has worked for me

Hi Peter
I have used a double ended trap from https://www.trapworks.nz/traps/magpie-traps to great effect.
Bait with dobs of Chefade cooking fat leading to and in the inside of the trap.
I use the mirrors provided with the cage.
Once you catch one, leave until its mate is caught then remove the first at night and dispatch.
The second should catch a third etc…I dont leave any bird in the cage more than two days.
Also caught hedgehogs, pheasant (let go) and a ferret in my cage.

Thank you so much for your help I’ll be going to the supermarket tommorow! I’ve got the double batch one so appreciate your advice. I’ve also got the feral cat one which has been working well too. Really well made traps that will last a long time

Cheers, Pete.

Peter, I’m all for protecting our birds from mammalian predators.


A study in the Waikato whereby nests of a range of species were monitored by cameras revealed only one instance of magpie predation. The vast majority of predation events involved mammalian predators or harriers. The conclusion reached was that magpies were not an important predator of the nests of rural birds. Likewise a study by several regional councils and Landcare Research found little evidence that magpies affected the populations of other species of birds. Magpies were removed from a number of blocks of land, and other blocks were left untouched as controls. The bird species were surveyed before commencement of control in the “kill” blocks, and then again after the operations had been completed. Little change in numbers of other species was found afterwards, or in comparison with the populations in the control blocks. However the visibility of other species was affected; without magpies some were more frequently seen.

I’ve been ‘dive-bombed’ by magpies during their breeding season - instinctively protecting their young. But that behaviour pattern soon passes, once their nestlings have fledged. So during that short period - keep out of their territory and they’ll leave you alone.

Magpies are not a major threat to NZ species – in fact the studies from Waikato, Regional Councils, Landcare Research – would suggest they’re helping protect them.

Food for thought.

… Paul


Hi Peter,

I use Chefade and it works a treat - a dob just outside the edge of the trap and another bigger dob inside at the very back.

Magpies are very suspicious of anything new at first so just leave the trap alone other than checking and rebaiting if the mynas have got to it.

My experience has been that the mirrors make no difference (mine are now all filthy and I still catch magpies without any effort). I’m also not sure whether having one in the cage effectively lures another - I’ve caught a lot of pairs and I’ve caught a lot of singles. I clear my traps once or twice a day.

What I understand to be very important is that when you’ve had a catch, cover the trap with a towel when you go to remove it and also dispatch the captured magpie at a place where other magpies wont see you. I do it in the bush. If magpies see you moving or dispatching another magpie, they’ll be very suspicious of your trap and any kind of bait wont make a blind bit of difference.

I’ve trapped in excess of 100 magpies and my property is magpie free aside from the odd incursion by an opportunistic family which is quickly remedied. I’ve now moved onto mynas which seem to fill the void left by the magpies. Nonetheless, our area has seen a noticeable increase in native birdlife.

Keep up the good work!