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22

Eurasian Magpie

(Pica pica)
Alternate name(s): "Common Magpie", "Magpie"
German name(s): "Elster"

Size: 44-46 cm (incl. tail ca. 24 cm); wing span 52-60 cm
Weight: 210-270 g (male; race "pica"), 180-215 g (female; race "pica")
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Eurasian Magpie at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "pica"

ADULT

MALE

Near-dorsal view of an Eurasian Magpie - based on the length of its tail this bird may be a male (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Wittlich, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, June 2016]

FEMALE

Part of a family clan of Eurasian Magpies; the length of the tails suggests that the bird at the upper left is a male, the one at the lower right a female (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Brok, Masovia, Poland, July 2016]

Sex unknown

Family clan of Eurasian Magpies (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Brok, Masovia, Poland, July 2016]

Race "fennorum"

ADULT

Sex unknown

Near-frontal view of an Eurasian Magpie (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Bergen, Norway, May 2016]

Lateral view of an Eurasian Magpie (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Bergen, Norway, May 2016]

Lateral view of an Eurasian Magpie (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Skjervoy, near Tromso, Norway, June 2018]

Near-dorsal view of an Eurasian Magpie (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Skjervoy, near Tromso, Norway, June 2018]

Near-dorsal view of an Eurasian Magpie (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Bergen, Norway, May 2016]

Dorsal view of an Eurasian Magpie (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Skjervoy, near Tromso, Norway, June 2018]

Race "melanotos"

ADULT

MALE

Lateral view of an Eurasian Magpie - the extreme length of the tail suggests that this may be a male (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, September 2014]

Near-dorsal view of a male Eurasian Magpie (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, December 2013]

Sex unknown

Frontal view of an Eurasian Magpie (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, February 2018]

Near-lateral/ventral view of an Eurasian Magpie in flight (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, November 2018]

Near-dorsal view of an Eurasian Magpie in flight (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, October 2018]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of a juvenile(?) Eurasian Magpie - note the pink gape (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2015]

Behaviour

Eurasian Magpies are amongst the most prolific nest robbers within their range.

Food, Diet

Eurasian Magpies are omnivores that will eat anything from eggs and/or chicks of other bird species to carrion, invertibrates, insects, seeds and fruit.

Eurasian Magpie foraging in a heap of mulch (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2018]

Eurasian Magpie carrying food in flight, probably to feed its chicks (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2018]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

magpie_dw_20160707.m4a pica
(Poland)
Warning call © DW
magpie_dw_20160715.m4a pica
(Poland)
Warning calls © DW
magpie_dw_20170201.m4a pica
(Poland)
? © DW

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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