Originally Posted by goosey
I have been watching a pair of magpies this morning breaking off large twigs (approx 30cm) from a tree and flying off with them before returning for more.
Surely it is too early to be thinking of mating and nest building - with this sort of weather and still plenty of snow they can't be fooled into thinking Spring is on the way?
Perhaps they are repairing old nests so they can keep warm?
Any ideas what they are upto?
I have seen large corvids, carrions crows more commonly than magpies, carrying twigs about early in the year (i.e.
in the bleak midwinter!) and presume this is nest-building preparatory to mating. I doubt they use nests for anything else: they're just platforms really and wouldn't give much protection from cold. I suspect that early mating processes are stimulated by day-length but they won't start breeding proper until the weather warms up. Perhaps someone knows more about this - I'd be interested to know more ...