This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
This bird is troublesome to the game-preserver, though less common than formerly, and except in some wild districts or in woods and enclosures where the game is left to take care of itself, is fast becoming extinct. Its depredations on pheasant and other game-bird eggs, and its partiality for young birds and small rabbits render repressive measures imperative. As the nest is large and generally built in the same locality every year, it may be easily found and destroyed. The best bait is egg-shells or eggs, placing three or four on a hedge or in grass near favourite haunts of the birds, or a small rabbit paunched and split. Three or four traps set round such bait will generally prove successful in capture. Some trappers, however, bait each trap with a small piece of bad or high meat, secured to the table or plate, and scatter the traps somewhat thickly. In using paunched or dead rabbit as bait this should be tightly pegged to the ground. Being so uncommon the magpie exerts little influence beyond the woods and their immediate environs, favouring the forester by destroying snails, slugs, cockchafers, beetles, insect larvae, mice and voles.
The magpie eats cherries.