Beer-drinking bird banned from pub

British landloard says magpie prefers Classic Blonde ale

July 26, 2004 - A pub landlord has banned a bird from the King's Arms in Heath Common, Wakefield, for stealing food and beer from customers.


Landlord Alan Tate said the bird, a magpie nicknamed Thatcher, "had started walking on people's plates while they were eating and we had to refund a few meals."

The bird first started pecking on the windows of the King's Arms several weeks ago and fast became popular with customers.

"He got more and more used to people and started nicking beer out of pint glasses," Tate said. "His favorite is the Classic Blonde which we have on - he went mad for that. He used to squawk at people who used to hide their pints from him.

"I couldn't have him in the pub if I wanted to so I had to bar him," Tate said, citing health concerns. "If he comes in I've found the best way to get him out is to use something shiny."

Tate refused to call in a pest control firm or have the bird shot. "He had to go but I didn't want to do what some people suggested I do to him, He's amused us all," Tate said. "He's a character and I couldn't do that to him."

Instead, he has resorted to locking him in the linen cupboard when he gets too troublesome, to keep him out of customers' way.

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