Milk bottle tops

Milk bottle topLooks like the birds in this area are wise to the old “peck the milk bottle tops” trick. But do birds like milk? I’m not sure I really see what’s in it for them except to annoy people.

Of course, I’m assuming it was done by a bird and that the milkman didn’t put his thumb through the top by accident — but if you look closely, it looks like there is a small hole that’s been pecked (see exhibit A, left).

Anyone know what sort of bird does this, and why? Perhaps magpies, trying to collect silvery things?

25 Responses to “Milk bottle tops”

  1. Vorbote says:

    Believe you not, magpies love the cream on top. 🙂

  2. This is well-known behavior among British birds. The trick is to leave a 2p coin with the milk bottle and the delivery person will place the coin on the fresh milk. The birds apparently don’t know how to get past the coin (so I hear on NPR).

  3. tim says:

    I hadn’t heard the 2p coin idea! Think I’ll try it and see what the milkman makes of it.

    Thanks.

  4. tim says:

    Hey, it worked!

    Coins

  5. Jan says:

    Do you know where you can buy plastic milk bottle top covers. to protect the milk from spilling, my mother used to have them, I can’t find them.

  6. tim says:

    Not heard of them, sorry. Are they for stopping milk spilling while pouring it?

  7. Charlotte says:

    I’ve been searching for ages for those plastic milk bottle caps… just found them today! You can buy a pack of 7 from ‘youreableshop.com’ for around £3. I’ve pasted the link below:

    http://www.youreableshop.co.uk/product/daily-pinta-milk-caps-pack-of-7-HH5050.html

    Hope this helps!

  8. Jan (another one) says:

    Blue-tits are renowned for pecking foil tops off bottles (but you young people wouldn’t know this,) in order to get at the cream. In these days of skimmed and homogenised milk there aren’t so many opportunities for them as only Channel Island milk still has cream on top.

    Many years ago (50s) my neighbour watched our old labrador patiently waiting for the blue-tits to take the tops off before moving in and licking 3inches of cream from each bottle.

    Have a nice day!

  9. sandra lane says:

    I’ve been searching for this type of milk bottle cover for ages – ever since Lakeland changed the design of theirs and no longer fitted our bottles. Thanks!

  10. K STONE says:

    I work for a charity and we have had old second world was crdboard milk bottle tops with slogans on do you know anyone interested??

  11. cally says:

    I tried that bottle cap protector link but it just came up with the shop’s header and a blank page. A lady in the village next to ours has blue plastic caps on her milk bottles but she says they were a gift (?!?) so doesnt know where they came from.
    Our birds have wised up to the 2p trick, it was the magpies who first learnt. I guess my only other option is to build some sort of box for the milk to go in but it’ll look really dumb in the front of my house! I wouldnt be that bothered but my son is only 17 months old an I worry that he’ll catch something nasty or get an upset tummy thanks to any germs on the birds beaks. not to mention the thought of worm juice and moth extract makes me kinda queasy when I’m trying to eat my cornflakes!

  12. tim says:

    cally: whereabouts in the country are the magpies that discovered the 2p trick?

  13. liz says:

    The birds are a nuisance certainly but I am finding the squirrels move in and tip the bottles over. It appears now they have mastered this trick there is no stopping them!

  14. Lyn says:

    If you put plastic covers from the top of aerosol cans e.g. dedorants, furnisher polish etc on top this does the trick. A bit tedious for the milkman though!

  15. Jan says:

    Call – Try th link for milk bottle tops again & input product code & you will get the tops !!!! product code HH5050

  16. tim says:

    Jan: thanks for the tip. This is the link that should go directly to them.

  17. […] standing outside your front door in the morning is that some wild birds have figured out how to peck the aluminium foil bottle tops.  Luckily, there is a way around it: leave out 2p pieces for the milkman to place on top of the […]

  18. Tyler says:

    You can buy a milk minder from your Milkman. (see pic) this stops birds getting in and keeps milk cool in the summer – good to your supporting your milkman!

  19. […] Milk bottle tops – Looks like the birds in this area are wise to the old “peck the milk bottle tops” trick. But do birds like milk? I’m not sure I really see what’s in it for them except to annoy people. Of course, I’m assuming it was done by a bird and … […]