Guy Builds Decoy To Scare Birds — But They End Up ‘Worshipping’ It Instead

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Due to the fact that some local birds were frequenting his house in Australia, stealing food from his cat’s outdoor food bowl, Giulio Cuzilla decided to get creative.

Using some crafting material, he fashioned a (supposedly) menacing deterrent — a handmade owl to stand guard on his porch and discourage real birds from dropping by. But the birds, a group of magpies, weren’t exactly deterred.

In fact, their reaction was quite the opposite.

Getty Images/DESPITE STRAIGHT LINES (Paul Williams)

Checking in on the effectiveness of his makeshift owl figurine, Cuzilla didn’t see a sudden absence of magpies. Instead, he saw this — the birds gathered en masse on his porch, almost appearing to be genuflecting before their artificial counterpart.

“I accidentally made a magpie god,” Cuzilla wrote.

According to animal behaviorist Gisela Kaplan, as might be expected, the magpies aren’t actually showing reverence to Cuzilla’s owl figurine. Rather, Kaplan tells Yahoo News Australia, they’re likely telling the “newcomer” to scram.

“They give these warnings and say, ‘Do you mind? You’re in our territory, you should leave,'” Kaplan said. “Some of their calls are just diplomatic niceties indicating, ‘You’re stepping on our turf.’ And that’s what they’re doing.”

Getty Images/Simon McGill

Magpies are famously intelligent and bold birds, so it’s not surprising that they don’t seem particularly cowed by Cuzilla’s “clever” owl ruse.

Since then, Cuzilla tells Yahoo News Australia that he’s had a change of heart about the magpies visiting his house — coming to better appreciate just how special they really are.

“When you see their nature and their funny ways, you can see they’re pretty cute,” he said.

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