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Magpies shot at school

MARYKE PENMAN
Last updated 05:00 23/01/2014
MAgpies
AGGRESIVE PESTS: Magpies are known to be particularly when they are protecting their young.

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Police have charged a 48-year-old man who allegedly used a shotgun to cull magpies at Long Bay College.

The man has been bailed to appear in the North Shore District Court today on a charge of reckless discharge of a firearm.

Police were called to Long Bay College at around 7.15am on January 17 when someone working on a construction site nearby noticed shotgun pellets raining down around them.

North Shore police Senior Sergeant Scott Cunningham says a man was shooting magpies in trees when the alarm was raised.

"He breached the cardinal rule of always identifying your target and checking your firing zone.

"Someone working nearby, who was effectively in the firing line as such, noticed pellets raining down and called us to investigate."

Mr Cunningham says it is believed the culling was done with the understanding of the school. However a spokesperson from

Long Bay College says they are unaware of any arrangements for the culling of magpies on school property.

A woman who lives nearby the school says she saw several police cars with sirens driving along Glenvar Rd as she was on her way to work.

She says a police car was blocking the entry to Ian Sage Ave with a police woman standing alongside the vehicle.

Rothesay Bay bird rescue woman Sylvia Durrant says magpies are particularly aggressive this time of year as they are protecting their young.

"From around December the magpies all have their babies around, they'll be dive bombing anyone that comes close.

"The sad thing is that magpies have this pest thing against them that means they can be shot at at anytime."

She says some schools have decided to eradicate the birds before school starts so their pupils are not in danger.

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- North Shore Times

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