The Info List - Eurasian Magpie

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Subspecies      leucoptera      melanotos      pica      fennorum      asirensis      bactriana      hemileucoptera      serica      bottanensis      camtschatica      mauritanica

Maghreb magpie
Maghreb magpie
(P. p. mauritanica) showing the characteristic blue patch behind the eye

The Eurasian magpie
Eurasian magpie
or common magpie (Pica pica) is a resident breeding bird throughout northern part of Eurasian continent. It is one of several birds in the crow family designated magpies, and belongs to the Holarctic
radiation of "monochrome" magpies. In Europe, "magpie" is used by English speakers as a synonym for the European magpie: the only other magpie in Europe is the Iberian magpie ( Cyanopica
cooki), which is limited to the Iberian peninsula. The Eurasian magpie
Eurasian magpie
is one of the most intelligent birds, and it is believed to be one of the most intelligent of all non-human animals.[1] The expansion of its nidopallium is approximately the same in its relative size as the brain of chimpanzees, orangutans and humans.[2]


1 Taxonomy and systematics

1.1 Etymology

2 Description 3 Distribution and habitat 4 Behaviour and ecology

4.1 Breeding 4.2 Feeding 4.3 Intelligence

4.3.1 Emotions

5 Status 6 Relationship with humans

6.1 Traditions and symbolism

6.1.1 Europe 6.1.2 Asia

7 References 8 Cited sources 9 Further reading 10 External links

Taxonomy and systematics[edit] The magpie was described and illustrated by Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner in his Historiae animalium of 1555.[3] In 1758 Linnaeus included the species in the 10th edition of his Systema Naturae
Systema Naturae
under the binomial name Corvus pica.[4][5] The magpie was moved to a separate genus Pica by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760.[4][6][7] Pica is the Classical Latin
Classical Latin
word for this magpie.[8] The Eurasian magpie
Eurasian magpie
is almost identical in appearance to the North American black-billed magpie (Pica hudsonia) and at one time the two species were considered to be conspecific.[4][9] In 2000, the American Ornithologists' Union decided to treat the black-billed magpie as a separate species based on studies of the vocalization and behaviour that indicated that the black-billed magpie was closer to the yellow-billed magpie (Pica nuttalli) than to the Eurasian magpie.[10] The gradual clinal variation over the large geographic range and the intergradation of the different subspecies means that the geographical limits, and acceptance of the various subspecies, vary between authorities. The International Ornithological Congress recognises ten subspecies (P. p. hemileucoptera is included in P. p. bactriana):[11]

P. p. fennorum – Lönnberg, 1927: northern Scandinavia and northwest Russia P. p. pica – (Linnaeus, 1758): British Isles and southern Scandinavia east to Russia, south to Mediterranean, including most islands P. p. melanotos – A.E. Brehm, 1857: Iberian Peninsula P. p. mauritanica – Malherbe, 1845: North Africa (Morocco, northern Algeria and Tunisia) (sometimes considered a separate species, the Maghreb magpie) P. p. asirensis – Bates, 1936: southwest Saudi Arabia (sometimes considered a separate species, the Asir magpie) P. p. bactriana – Bonaparte, 1850: Siberia east to Lake Baikal, south to Caucasus, Iraq, Iran, Central Asia and Pakistan P. p. leucoptera – Gould, 1862: southeast Russia
and northeast China P. p. camtschatica – Stejneger, 1884: northern Sea of Okhotsk, and Kamchatka Peninsula
Kamchatka Peninsula
in Russian Far East P. p. serica – Gould, 1845: east and south China, Taiwan, north Myanmar, north Laos and north Vietnam P. p. bottanensis – Delessert, 1840: west central China

The ornithologist Steve Madge in the Handbook of Birds of the World treats the isolated subspecies in southwest Saudi Arabia as a separate species, the Arabian magpie (P. asirensis).[12] BirdLife International also started acknowledging the latter as a separate species from 2016, alongside the Maghreb magpie
Maghreb magpie
(P. mauritanica).[13] An analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences published in 2003 confirmed that the black-billed magpie and the yellow-billed magpie were closely related to each other. The study also found that magpies in Korea (described as P. p. serica) are as different from the nominate subspecies as they are to the North America magpie species. These results imply that the species Pica pica is not monophyletic.[14] A more recent study using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA found that magpies in east and northeast China
are genetically very similar to each other but differ from those in northwest China
and Spain.[15] Etymology[edit] Magpies were originally known as simply "pies". This comes from a proto-Indoeuropean root meaning "pointed", in reference to either the beak or the tail. The prefix "mag" dates from the 16th century and comes from the short form of the given name Margaret, which was once used to mean women in general (as Joe or Jack is used for men today); the pie's call was considered to sound like the idle chattering of a woman, and so it came to be called the "Mag pie".[16] "Pie" as a term for the bird dates to the 13th century, and the word "pied", first recorded in 1552, became applied to other birds that resembled the magpie in having black and white plumage.[17] Description[edit]

In flight, showing the numerous brightly-coloured sheens on its feathers

The adult male of the nominate subspecies, P. p. pica, is 44–46 cm (17–18 in) in length, of which more than half is the tail. The wingspan is 52–62 cm (20–24 in).[18] The head, neck and breast are glossy black with a metallic green and violet sheen; the belly and scapulars (shoulder feathers) are pure white; the wings are black glossed with green or purple, and the primaries have white inner webs, conspicuous when the wing is open. The graduated tail is black, glossed with green and reddish purple. The legs and bill are black; the iris is dark brown.[19] The plumage of the sexes is similar but females are slightly smaller. The tail feathers of both sexes are quite long, about 12–28 cm long. Males of the nominate subspecies weigh 210–272 g (7.4–9.6 oz) while females weigh 182–214 g (6.4–7.5 oz). The young resemble the adults, but are at first without much of the gloss on the sooty plumage. The young have the malar region pink, and somewhat clear eyes. The tail is much shorter than the adults.[18] The subspecies differ in their size, the amount of white on their plumage and the colour of the gloss on their black feathers. The northwest African subspecies P. p. mauritanica differs from the nominate subspecies in having a patch of blue bare skin behind the eye, no white patch on the rump, and a longer tail.[19] The southwest Arabian subspecies P. p. asirensis differs in having more black in the plumage with a narrower white scapular patch, no white rump, and smaller white areas on the primaries.[12] The Asian subspecies P. p. bactriana has more extensive white on the primaries and a prominent white rump.[19] Adults undergo an annual complete moult after breeding. Moult begins in June or July and ends in September or October. The primary flight feathers are replaced over a period of three months. Juvenile birds undergo a partial moult beginning about one month later than the adult birds in which their body feathers are replaced but not those of the wings or the tail.[20] Eurasian magpies have a well-known call. It is a choking chatter "chac-chac" or a repetitive "chac-chac-chac-chac". The young also emit the previous call, although they also emit an acute call similar to a "Uik Uik", which may resemble the barking of a small dog. Both adults and young can emit a kind of hiss barely noticeable from afar. Distribution and habitat[edit] The range of the magpie extends across temperate Eurasia
from Spain and Ireland
in the west to the Kamchatka Peninsula
Kamchatka Peninsula
and Taiwan in the east. There are also populations in northwest Africa and on Mediterranean islands. The species has been introduced in Japan on the island of Kyushu.[19] The preferred habit is open countryside with scattered trees and magpies are normally absent from treeless areas and dense forests.[19] They sometimes breed at high densities in suburban settings such as parks and gardens.[21][22] They can often be found close to the centre of cities.[23] Magpies are normally sedentary and spend winters close to their nesting territories but birds living near the northern limit of their range in Sweden, Finland and Russia
can move south in harsh weather.[19] Behaviour and ecology[edit]

P. p. bactriana in Ladakh

Young bird


Eurasian magpie
Eurasian magpie

Some magpies breed after their first year while others remain in the non-breeding flocks and first breed in their second year.[24] They are monogamous and the pairs often remain together from one breeding season to the next. They generally occupy the same territory on successive years.[25] Mating
takes place in spring. In the courtship display males rapidly raise and depress their head feathers, uplift, open and close their tails like fans, and call in soft tones quite distinct from their usual chatter. The loose feathers of the flanks are brought over the primaries, and the shoulder patch is spread so the white is conspicuous, presumably to attract females. Short buoyant flights and chases follow. Magpies prefer tall trees for their bulky nest, firmly attaching them to a central fork in the upper branches. A framework of the sticks is cemented with earth and clay, and a lining of the same is covered with fine roots. Above is a stout though loosely built dome of prickly branches with a single well-concealed entrance. These huge nests are conspicuous when the leaves fall. Where trees are scarce, though even in well-wooded country, nests are at times built in bushes and hedgerows. In Europe, clutches are typically laid in April,[26] and usually contain five or six eggs but clutches with as few as three and as many as ten have been recorded.[27] The eggs are laid in early morning usually at daily intervals.[28] On average the eggs of the nominate species measure 32.9 mm × 23 mm (1.30 in × 0.91 in) and weigh 9.9 g (0.35 oz).[28][29] Small for the size of the bird, they are typically pale blue-green with close specks and spots of olive brown, but show much variation in ground and marking.[30] The eggs are incubated for 21–22 days by the female who is fed on the nest by the male.[31] The chicks are altricial, hatching nearly naked with closed eyes. They are brooded by the female for the first 5–10 days and fed by both parents.[32] Initially the parents eat the faecal sacs of the nestlings but as the chicks grow larger they defecate on the edge of the nest.[33] The nestlings open their eyes 7 to 8 days after hatching. Their body feathers start to appear after around 8 days and the primary wing feathers after 10 days.[34] For several days before they are ready to leave the nest the chicks clamber around the nearby branches.[35] They fledge at around 27 days.[34] The parents then continue to feed the chicks for several more weeks. They also protect the chicks from predators as their ability to fly is poor making them very vulnerable.[34] On average only 3 or 4 chicks survive to fledge successfully. Some nests are lost to predators but an important factor causing nestling mortality is starvation. Magpie
eggs hatch asynchronously and if the parents have difficulty finding sufficient food the last chicks to hatch are unlikely to survive.[36] Only a single brood is reared unless disaster overtakes the first clutch.[19] A study conducted near Sheffield
in Britain using birds with coloured rings on their legs found that only 22% of fledglings survived their first year. For subsequent years the survival rate for the adult birds was 69% implying that for those birds that survive the first year the average total lifespan was 3.7 years.[37] The maximum age recorded for a magpie is 21 years and 8 months for a bird from near Coventry
in England that was ringed in 1925 and shot in 1947.[38][39] Feeding[edit] The magpie is omnivorous, eating young birds and eggs, small mammals,[40] insects, scraps and carrion, acorns, grain, and other vegetable substances. Intelligence[edit] The Eurasian magpie
Eurasian magpie
is believed not only to be among the smartest of birds but among the most intelligent of all animals. Along with the jackdaw, the Eurasian magpie's nidopallium is approximately the same relative size as those in chimpanzees and humans, significantly larger than the gibbon's.[2] Like other corvids, such as ravens and crows, their total brain-to-body mass ratio is equal to most great apes and cetaceans.[41] A 2004 review suggests that the intelligence of the corvid family to which the Eurasian magpie
Eurasian magpie
belongs is equivalent to that of great apes (chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas) in terms of social cognition, causal reasoning, flexibility, imagination, and prospection.[42] Magpies have been observed engaging in elaborate social rituals, possibly including the expression of grief.[43] Mirror self-recognition has been demonstrated in European magpies,[44] making them one of only a few species to possess this capability.[1] The cognitive abilities of the Eurasian magpie
Eurasian magpie
are regarded as evidence that intelligence evolved independently in both corvids and primates. This is indicated by tool use, an ability to hide and store food across seasons, episodic memory, using their own experience to predict the behavior of conspecifics.[1] Another behavior exhibiting intelligence is cutting their food in correctly sized proportions for the size of their young. In captivity, magpies have been observed counting up to get food, imitating human voices, and regularly using tools to clean their own cages.[citation needed] In the wild, they organise themselves into gangs and use complex strategies[examples needed] hunting other birds and when confronted by predators.[45] Emotions[edit] Marc Bekoff, at the University of Colorado, argues that Eurasian magpies are capable of feeling complex emotions, including grief.[43] Status[edit] The Eurasian magpie
Eurasian magpie
has an extremely large range. The European population is estimated to be between 7.5 and 19 million breeding pairs. Allowing for the birds breeding in other continents, the total population is estimated to be between 46 and 228 million individuals. The population trend in Europe has been stable since 1980.[46] There is no evidence of any serious overall decline in numbers, so the species is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as being of Least Concern.[47] Relationship with humans[edit] Traditions and symbolism[edit] Europe[edit] In Europe, magpies have been historically demonized by humans, mainly as a result of superstition and myth. The bird has found itself in this situation mainly by association, says Steve Roud: "Large blackbirds, like crows and ravens, are viewed as evil in British folklore and white birds are viewed as good".[48] In European folklore, the magpie is associated with a number of superstitions[49] surrounding its reputation as an omen of ill fortune. In the 19th century book, A Guide to the Scientific Knowledge of Things Familiar, a proverb concerning magpies is recited: "A single magpie in spring, foul weather will bring". The book further explains that this superstition arises from the habits of pairs of magpies to forage together only when the weather is fine. In Scotland, a magpie near the window of the house is said to foretell death.[50] An English tradition holds that a single magpie be greeted with a salutation in order to ward off the bad luck it may bring. A greeting might take the form of saying the words ‘Good morning, Mr Magpie, how are Mrs Magpie
and all the other little magpies?’ [51] In Britain and Ireland, a widespread traditional rhyme, One for Sorrow, records the myth (it is not clear whether it has been seriously believed) that seeing magpies predicts the future, depending on how many are seen. There are many regional variations on the rhyme, which means that it is impossible to give a definitive version.[50][52]

game with the magpie rhyme

In Italian, British and French folklore, magpies are believed to have a penchant for picking up shiny items, particularly precious stones or metal objects. Rossini's opera La gazza ladra
La gazza ladra
and The Adventures of Tintin comic The Castafiore Emerald
The Castafiore Emerald
are based on this theme. However, one recent research study has cast doubt on the veracity of this belief.[53][54] In Bulgarian, Czech, German, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Slovak and Swedish folklore the magpie is seen as a thief. In Sweden, it is further associated with witchcraft.[50] In Norway, a magpie is considered cunning and thievish, but also the bird of huldra, the underground people.[55] Magpies have been attacked for their role as predators, which includes eating other birds' eggs and their young. However, scientific studies have contradicted the view that they affect total song-bird populations, finding "no evidence of any effects of [magpie] predator species on songbird population growth rates. We therefore had no indication that predators had a general effect on songbird population growth rates".[56] Other studies have found that songbird populations increased in places where magpie populations were high and that they do not have a negative impact on the total song-bird population.[57] Asia[edit] See also: Qixi Festival
Qixi Festival
and The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl The European attitude is starkly contrasted with Korea's, where the magpie is celebrated as "a bird of great good fortune, of sturdy spirit and a provider of prosperity and development".[48] Similarly, in China, magpies are seen as an omen of good fortune.[58] This is even reflected in the Chinese word for magpie, simplified Chinese: 喜鹊; traditional Chinese: 喜鵲; pinyin: xǐquè, in which the first character means "happiness". It was the official ‘bird of joy’ for the Manchu dynasty.[51] References[edit]

^ a b c Prior, H.; Schwarz, A.; Güntürkün, O. (2008). "Mirror-induced behavior in the Magpie
(Pica pica): evidence of self-recognition". PLoS Biology. 6 (8): e202. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060202. PMC 2517622 . PMID 18715117.  ^ a b Emery, N.J.; Clayton, N.S. (2004). "Comparing the complex cognition of birds and primates". In Rogers, L.J.; Kaplan, G.T. Comparative vertebrate cognition: are primates superior to non-primates?. New York: Kluwer Academic. pp. 9, 3–56. ISBN 978-0-306-47727-0.  ^ Gesner, Conrad (1555). Historiæ animalium liber III qui est de auium natura. Adiecti sunt ab initio indices alphabetici decem super nominibus auium in totidem linguis diuersis: & ante illos enumeratio auium eo ordiné quo in hoc volumine continentur (in Latin). Zurich: Froschauer. pp. 666–672.  ^ a b c Blake, Emmet R.; Vaurie, Charles (1962). "Family Corvidae, Crows and Jays". In Mayer, Ernst; Greenway, James C. Jr. Check-list of Birds of the World. vol. 15. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. pp. 250–254.  ^ Linnaeus, C. (1758). Systema Naturæ per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Volume 1 (in Latin) (10th ed.). Holmiae [Stockholm]: Laurentii Salvii. pp. 106–107.  ^ Brisson, Mathurin Jacques (1760). Ornithologie (in French). Volume 1. Paris: C.J.-B. Bauche. p. 30.  ^ Brisson, Mathurin Jacques (1760). Ornithologie (in French). Volume 2. Paris: C.J.-B. Bauche. p. 35.  ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 305. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.  ^ American Ornithologists’ Union (1998). Check-list of North American Birds (PDF). Washington, DC: American Ornithologists’ Union. pp. 448–449. ISBN 1-891276-00-X.  ^ American Ornithologists’ Union (2000). "Forty-second supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union
American Ornithologists' Union
check-list of North American birds". The Auk. 117 (3): 847–858. doi:10.1642/0004-8038(2000)117[0847:FSSTTA]2.0.CO;2.  ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Crows, mudnesters & birds-of-paradise". IOC World Bird
List Version 6.3. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 28 September 2016.  ^ a b Madge, S. (2009). "Arabian Magpie
(Pica asirensis)". In del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ "Pica mauritanica (Maghreb Magpie)". www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved 2018-01-22.  ^ Lee, Sang-im; Parr, Cynthia S.; Hwang, Youna; Mindell, David P.; Choe, J.C. (2003). "Phylogeny of magpies (genus Pica) inferred from mtDNA data". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 29 (2): 250–257. doi:10.1016/S1055-7903(03)00096-4. PMID 13678680.  ^ Zhang, R.; et al. (2012). "Comparative phylogeography of two widespread magpies: Importance of habitat preference and breeding behavior on genetic structure in China". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 65 (2): 562–572. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2012.07.011. PMID 22842292.  ^ " Magpie
(n.)". Online Etymology Dictionary.  ^ "Pie". Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
(3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.) ^ a b Snow, D.W.; Perrins, C.M., eds. (1998). The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Volume 2 Passerines (Concise ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 1457–1460. ISBN 0-19-850188-9.  ^ a b c d e f g Madge, S. (2009). "Common Magpie
(Pica pica)". In del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ Birkhead 1991, p. 31. ^ Leszek, Jerzak (2001). "Synurbanization of the magpie in the Palearctic". In Marzluff, J.; Bowman, R.; Donnelly, R. Avian ecology and conservation in an urbanizing world. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 403–425. ISBN 0-7923-7458-4.  ^ Antonov, A.; Atanasova, D. (2002). "Nest-site selection in the magpie Pica pica in a high-density urban population of Sofia (Bulgaria)". Acta Ornithologica. 37 (2): 55–66. doi:10.3161/068.037.0201.  ^ Holden, Peter (2012). RSPB Handbook Of British Birds. p. 270. ISBN 978 1 4081 2735 3.  ^ Birkhead 1991, pp. 132–133. ^ Birkhead 1991, pp. 61–62. ^ Birkhead 1991, pp. 147–148. ^ Birkhead 1991, p. 155. ^ a b Birkhead 1991, pp. 162–163. ^ Witherby, H.F. (1920). A practical handbook of British birds. London: Witherby. p. 23.  ^ Birkhead 1991, p. 164. ^ Birkhead 1991, p. 161. ^ Birkhead 1991, p. 166. ^ Birkhead 1991, p. 173. ^ a b c Birkhead 1991, p. 183. ^ Birkhead 1991, p. 177. ^ Birkhead 1991, pp. 179–181. ^ Birkhead 1991, pp. 130–132. ^ "European Longevity Records". Euring. Retrieved 19 November 2015.  ^ Robinson, R.A.; Leech, D.I.; Clark, J.A. "Longevity records for Britain & Ireland
in 2014". British Trust for Ornithology. Retrieved 19 November 2015.  ^ Mikula, P.; Morelli, F.; Lučan, R.K.; Jones, D.N.; Tryjanowski, P. (2016). "Bats as prey of diurnal birds: a global perspective". Mammal Review. doi:10.1111/mam.12060.  ^ "Corvidae". Birding in India and South Asia. Retrieved 10 November 2007.  ^ Emery, Nathan J.; Clayton, Nicola S. (Dec 2004). "The mentality of crows: convergent evolution of intelligence in corvids and apes". Science. 306 (5703): 1903–1907. doi:10.1126/science.1098410. PMID 15591194.  ^ a b Bekoff, M. (2009). " Animal
emotions, wild justice and why they matter: Grieving magpies, a pissy baboon, and empathic elephants". Emotion, Space and Society. Elsevier: 1–4. doi:10.1016/j.emospa.2009.08.001.  ^ de Waal, Frans (2009). The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society. New York: Harmony Books. p. 149.  ^ Robertson, Joyce (2010). Meet the Magpie. AuthorHouse. p. 5. ISBN 9781449087913.  ^ "Species factsheet: Pica pica". BirdLife International. Retrieved 20 November 2015.  NB – BirdLife International consider the North American black-billed magpie (Pica hudsonia) as a subspecies of Pica pica. ^ BirdLife International (2015). "Pica pica". IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2015: e.T22705865A85076722. Retrieved 24 October 2016.  ^ a b Winterman, Denise. "Why are magpies so often hated?". BBC News Magazine. Magpies have a dubious reputation because they are a bit of both. Over the years they have been lumped in with blackbirds  ^ Tickner, Lisa (1980). "One for Sorrow, Two for Mirth: The Performance Work of Rose Finn-Kelcey". Oxford Art J. 3 (1): 58–73. doi:10.1093/oxartj/3.1.58. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ a b c Brewer, E.C. (1970). Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. rev. by Ivor H. Evans (centenary ed.). London: Cassell. p. 674.  ^ a b "How to salute a magpie - Country Life". Country Life. 2015-03-19. Retrieved 2018-01-10.  ^ Opie, Iona; Opie, Peter (1959). The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 217.  ^ Harrabin, Roger (16 August 2014). "Magpies 'don't steal shiny objects'". BBC News. Retrieved 5 December 2017.  ^ Shephard, T.V.; Lea, Stephen E.G.; Hempel de Ibarra, N. (2015). "'The thieving magpie'? No evidence for attraction to shiny objects". Animal
Cognition. Springer Verlag (Germany). 18 (1): 393–397. doi:10.1007/s10071-014-0794-4. Retrieved 5 December 2017.  ^ "skjære – folketro" [magpie – folklore]. Store Norske Leksikon [Norwegian Encyclopedia] (in Norwegian).  ^ Stoate, C.; Thomson, D.L. (2000). "Predation and songbird populations" (PDF). In Aebischer, N.J.; Evans, A.D.; Grice, P.V.; Vickery, J.A. Ecology and Conservation of Lowland Farmland Birds. Tring, England: British Ornithologists' Union. pp. 134–139. ISBN 0-907446-24-8.  ^ Gooch, S.; Baillie, S.R.; Birkhead, T.R. (1991). " Magpie
Pica pica and songbird populations. Retrospective investigation of trends in population density and breeding success". Journal of Applied Ecology. 28 (3): 1068–1086. doi:10.2307/2404226. JSTOR 2404226.  ^ "春蚕、喜鹊、梅花、百合花有什么象征意义?" [Silkworms, magpie, plum blossom, lily. What symbolic meaning?] (in Chinese). 

Cited sources[edit]

Birkhead, T.R. (1991). The Magpies: The Ecology and Behaviour of Black-Billed and Yellow-Billed Magpies. T. & A.D. Poyser. ISBN 978-085661067-7. 

Further reading[edit]

Birkhead, T.R. (1989). "Studies of West Palearctic birds: 189 Magpie" (PDF). British Birds. 82 (12): 583–600.  Song, S.; Zhang, R.; Alström, P.; Irestedt, M.; Cai, T.; Qu, Y.; Ericson, P.G.P.; Fjeldså, J.; Lei, F. (2017). "Complete taxon sampling of the avian genus Pica (magpies) reveals ancient relictual populations and synchronous Late-Pleistocene demographic expansion across the Northern Hemisphere". Journal of Avian Biology. doi:10.1111/jav.01612. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pica pica.

has information related to Pica pica

Pica pica in the Flickr: Field Guide Birds of the World " Eurasian magpie
Eurasian magpie
media". Internet Bird
Collection.  Ageing and sexing (PDF; 2.9 MB) by Javier Blasco-Zumeta & Gerd-Michael Heinze Feathers of Eurasian magpie

v t e

Extant species of family Corvidae

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves Subclass: Neornithes Superorder: Neognathae Order: Passeriformes

Family Corvidae



Alpine chough
Alpine chough
(P. graculus) Red-billed chough
Red-billed chough
(P. pyrrhocorax)



Hooded treepie
Hooded treepie
(C. cucullata) Black racket-tailed treepie
Black racket-tailed treepie
(C. temia)


Andaman treepie
Andaman treepie
(D. bayleyi) Bornean treepie
Bornean treepie
(D. cinerascens) Grey treepie
Grey treepie
(D. formosae) Black-faced treepie
Black-faced treepie
(D. frontalis) White-bellied treepie
White-bellied treepie
(D. leucogastra) Sumatran treepie
Sumatran treepie
(D. occipitalis) Rufous treepie
Rufous treepie
(D. vagabunda)


Black magpie
Black magpie
(P. leucopterus)

Bornean black magpie (P. l. aterrimus)


Ratchet-tailed treepie
Ratchet-tailed treepie
(T. temnurus)

Oriental magpies


Common green magpie
Common green magpie
(C. chinensis) Indochinese green magpie
Indochinese green magpie
(C. hypoleuca) Bornean green magpie
Bornean green magpie
(C. jefferyi) Javan green magpie
Javan green magpie
(C. thalassina)


Taiwan blue magpie
Taiwan blue magpie
(U. caerulea) Red-billed blue magpie
Red-billed blue magpie
(U. erythrorhyncha) Yellow-billed blue magpie
Yellow-billed blue magpie
(U. flavirostris) Sri Lanka blue magpie
Sri Lanka blue magpie
(U. ornata) White-winged magpie
White-winged magpie
(U. whiteheadi)

Old World jays


Eurasian jay
Eurasian jay
(G. glandarius) Lanceolated jay
Lanceolated jay
(G. lanceolatus) Lidth's jay
Lidth's jay
(G. lidthi)

Podoces (Ground jays)

Biddulph's ground jay
Biddulph's ground jay
(P. biddulphi) Henderson's ground jay
Henderson's ground jay
(P. hendersoni) Pander's ground jay
Pander's ground jay
(P. panderi) Persian ground jay (P. pleskei)


(P. afer)

Stresemann's bushcrow


Stresemann's bushcrow
Stresemann's bushcrow
(Z. stresemanni)

Family Corvidae



Spotted nutcracker
Spotted nutcracker
(N. caryocatactes) Clark's nutcracker
Clark's nutcracker
(N. columbiana)

Holarctic magpies


Black-billed magpie
Black-billed magpie
(P. hudsonia) Yellow-billed magpie
Yellow-billed magpie
(P. nuttalli) Eurasian magpie
Eurasian magpie
(P. pica) Korean magpie
Korean magpie
(P. sericea)

True crows (crows, ravens, jackdaws and rooks)


Australian and Melanesian species Little crow (C. bennetti) Australian raven
Australian raven
(C. coronoides) Bismarck crow
Bismarck crow
(C. insularis) Brown-headed crow
Brown-headed crow
(C. fuscicapillus) Bougainville crow
Bougainville crow
(C. meeki) Little raven
Little raven
(C. mellori) New Caledonian crow
New Caledonian crow
(C. moneduloides) Torresian crow
Torresian crow
(C. orru) Forest raven
Forest raven
(C. tasmanicus) Grey crow
Grey crow
(C. tristis) Long-billed crow
Long-billed crow
(C. validus) White-billed crow
White-billed crow
(C. woodfordi)

Pacific island species Hawaiian crow
Hawaiian crow
(C. hawaiiensis) Mariana crow
Mariana crow
(C. kubaryi)

Tropical Asian species Daurian jackdaw
Daurian jackdaw
(C. dauuricus) Slender-billed crow
Slender-billed crow
(C. enca) Flores crow
Flores crow
(C. florensis) Large-billed crow
Large-billed crow
(C. macrorhynchos) Eastern jungle crow
Eastern jungle crow
(C. levaillantii) Indian jungle crow
Indian jungle crow
(C. culminatus) House crow
House crow
(C. splendens) Collared crow
Collared crow
(C. torquatus) Piping crow
Piping crow
(C. typicus) Banggai crow
Banggai crow
(C. unicolor) Violet crow (C. violaceus)

Eurasian and North African species Mesopotamian crow
Mesopotamian crow
(C. capellanus) Hooded crow
Hooded crow
(C. cornix) Carrion crow
Carrion crow
(C. corone) Rook (C. frugilegus) Jackdaw
(C. monedula ) Eastern carrion crow
Eastern carrion crow
(C. orientalis) Fan-tailed raven
Fan-tailed raven
(C. rhipidurus) Brown-necked raven
Brown-necked raven
(C. ruficollis)

species Common raven
Common raven
(C. corax)

North and Central American species American crow
American crow
(C. brachyrhynchos) Northwestern crow
Northwestern crow
(C. caurinus) Chihuahuan raven
Chihuahuan raven
(C. cryptoleucus) Tamaulipas crow
Tamaulipas crow
(C. imparatus) Jamaican crow
Jamaican crow
(C. jamaicensis) White-necked crow
White-necked crow
(C. leucognaphalus) Cuban crow
Cuban crow
(C. nasicus) Fish crow
Fish crow
(C. ossifragus) Palm crow
Palm crow
(C. palmarum) Sinaloan crow (C. sinaloae)

Tropical African species White-necked raven
White-necked raven
(C. albicollis) Pied crow
Pied crow
(C. albus) Cape crow
Cape crow
(C. capensis) Thick-billed raven
Thick-billed raven
(C. crassirostris) Somali crow
Somali crow
(C. edithae)

Family Corvidae

Azure-winged magpies


Iberian magpie
Iberian magpie
(C. cooki) Azure-winged magpie
Azure-winged magpie
(C. cyanus)

Grey jays


Grey jay
Grey jay
(P. canadensis) Siberian jay
Siberian jay
(P. infaustus) Sichuan jay
Sichuan jay
(P. internigrans)

New World jays

Aphelocoma (Scrub jays)

California scrub jay
California scrub jay
(A. californica) Island scrub jay
Island scrub jay
(A. insularis) Woodhouse's scrub jay
Woodhouse's scrub jay
(A. woodhouseii) Florida scrub jay
Florida scrub jay
(A. coerulescens) Transvolcanic jay
Transvolcanic jay
(A. ultramarina) Unicolored jay
Unicolored jay
(A. unicolor) Mexican jay
Mexican jay
(A. wollweberi)

Calocitta (Magpie-Jays)

Black-throated magpie-jay
Black-throated magpie-jay
(C. colliei) White-throated Magpie-jay (C. formosa)


Blue jay
Blue jay
(C. cristata) Steller's jay
Steller's jay
(C. stelleri)


Black-chested jay
Black-chested jay
(C. affinis) Purplish-backed jay
Purplish-backed jay
(C. beecheii) Azure jay
Azure jay
(C. caeruleus) Cayenne jay
Cayenne jay
(C. cayanus) Plush-crested jay
Plush-crested jay
(C. chrysops) Curl-crested jay
Curl-crested jay
(C. cristatellus) Purplish jay
Purplish jay
(C. cyanomelas) White-naped jay
White-naped jay
(C. cyanopogon) Tufted jay
Tufted jay
(C. dickeyi) Azure-naped jay
Azure-naped jay
(C. heilprini) Bushy-crested jay
Bushy-crested jay
(C. melanocyaneus) Brown jay
Brown jay
(C. morio) White-tailed jay
White-tailed jay
(C. mystacalis) San Blas jay
San Blas jay
(C. sanblasianus) Violaceous jay
Violaceous jay
(C. violaceus) Green jay
Green jay
(C. ynca) Yucatan jay
Yucatan jay
(C. yucatanicus)


Silvery-throated jay
Silvery-throated jay
(C. argentigula) Black-collared jay
Black-collared jay
(C. armillata) Azure-hooded jay
Azure-hooded jay
(C. cucullata) White-throated jay
White-throated jay
(C. mirabilis) Dwarf jay
Dwarf jay
(C. nana) Beautiful jay
Beautiful jay
(C. pulchra) Black-throated jay
Black-throated jay
(C. pumilo) Turquoise jay
Turquoise jay
(C. turcosa) White-collared jay
White-collared jay
(C. viridicyana)


Pinyon jay
Pinyon jay
(G. cyanocephalus)

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q25307 ADW: Pica_pica ARKive: pica-pica Avibase: 1EB2E3C72A6B688A BioLib: 413789 eBird: eurmag1 EoL: 1177362 EPPO: PICAPI Fauna Europaea: 97133 Fossilworks: 129838 GBIF: 5229490 iNaturalist: 144106 ITIS: 179720 IUCN: 103727048 NCBI: 34924

Authority control

GND: 41520