Minced Meat kills Magpies
For many people it is a joy to put food out for the birds in their backyard, and see those lovely birds return every day. However, most birds have a very special diet that is necessary to keep them healthy. This is especially so for Magpies.
One of the worst things you can feed Magpies is minced meat.
Magpies will feed the minced meat to their young, who will get completely deformed and weakened bones from it, and thus will never be able to fly or survive outside the nest. The Magpie itself will become sick from it as well, getting malnutrition and catching throat worm, which will kill the bird eventually.
This young magpie was unable to lift its wings to fly (see how low they are hanging), and had difficulty in walking. It had a curvature of the spine - hump, that wouldn't allow the baby to lift or move its wings properly. It's walking was also compromised as its tailbone would drag along the ground.
The local community were feeding the parents raw mince and other inappropriate goodies. The magpie parents were most likely feeding the baby this which unfortunately compromised the growth and uptake of calcium for this little one.
At the Wildlife Centre we often get sick Magpies delivered, who have lived in captivity at someone’s home or who have been fed the wrong food in their garden for a long time. In most cases, this is too late for the bird. They will suffer from throat worm and are already too weak to be able to survive. We will bring them to a vet for a check-up and take care of them in our Intensive Care Unit, but in most cases the damage is irreversible… When you feed Magpies, remember that you are only feeding them to make yourself feel good at their expense. Just leave them be and enjoy their song when they visit your garden but let them find their own food. There is more than enough food for them out there.