SOUTHPORT'S Crinum Crescent was once home to a bustling, tame and noisy parliament of magpies, now the street is quiet.

Residents say more than two dozen birds have been found dead in the past two months and local sleuths are on a crusade to find out how.

For Tony Hopkins the issue has become one of such concern he put together a newsletter titled 'Catch a killer: Is your neighbour a murderer?' to find more information on their deaths.

 

The flock of magpies that previously lived in the Southport area has shrunk rapidly according to locals.
The flock of magpies that previously lived in the Southport area has shrunk rapidly according to locals.

The newsletter labels the culprit an "uneducated idiot" for killing the street's "super friendly larrikins".

"We moved to this area six months ago," Mr Hopkins told the Bulletin. "There were families and families of magpies here and neighbours say they have been here for decades.

"They are extremely friendly and would play in your backyard and come up to greet you.

"Then one day, all of a sudden, we were finding dead magpies in everyone's yards.

"They were on the driveway, across the road. We were able to nurse back a few but no one knew what was wrong with them."

 

The newsletter sent to residents in Southport following the death of the flock of magpies.
The newsletter sent to residents in Southport following the death of the flock of magpies.

 

Some of the local Southport magpies that passed in recent weeks.
Some of the local Southport magpies that passed in recent weeks.


Mr Hopkins and a group of residents were concerned the birds were being poisoned and called the RSPCA. They say they are investigating.

"It wasn't a natural thing. We took them to Currumbin (Wildlife) Sanctuary and they were also at a loss to work out what happened to them.

"We have just four or five of them left. The deaths all happened in magpie season so people assume the birds attack you then, but this was a friendly group."

Mr Hopkins said the newsletter was distributed in the hopes of playing on the culprit's guilty conscience or prompting new leads.

Killing magpies in Queensland can incur a maximum penalty of $10,000 per bird or

$100,000, or a one-year prison term for killing 10 or more birds.

 

kirstin.payne@news.com.au

 

 

 

 

Originally published as 'Uneducated idiot': Search for Coast magpie killer



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