The Info List - Magpie

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Magpies are birds of the Corvidae
(crow) family. The black and white Eurasian magpie
Eurasian magpie
is widely considered one of the most intelligent animals in the world[1][2][3] and one of the only nonmammal species able to recognize itself in a mirror test[4] (a recent study suggests that giant manta rays can also recognize their own reflections[5]). In addition to other members of the genus Pica, corvids considered as magpies are in the genera Cissa. Magpies of the genus Pica are generally found in temperate regions of Europe, Asia and western North America, with populations also present in Tibet and high elevation areas of India, i.e. Ladakh (Kargil and Leh) and Pakistan. Magpies of the genus Cyanopica
are found in East Asia and also the Iberian peninsula. The birds called magpies in Australia are not related to the magpies in the rest of the world (see Australian magpie).


1 Systematics and species 2 Other "magpies" 3 In culture 4 Gallery 5 References 6 Bibliography 7 Further reading 8 External links

Systematics and species[edit] According to some studies, magpies do not form the monophyletic group they are traditionally believed to be—a long tail has certainly elongated (or shortened) independently in multiple lineages of corvid birds.[6] Among the traditional magpies, there appear to be two distinct lineages. One consists of Holarctic
species with black/white colouration and is probably closely related to crows and Eurasian jays. The other contains several species from South to East Asia
East Asia
with vivid colouration which is predominantly green or blue. The azure-winged magpie and the Iberian magpie, formerly thought to constitute a single species with a most peculiar distribution, have been shown to be two distinct species and classified as the genus Cyanopica.[7] Other research has cast doubt on the taxonomy of the Pica magpies, since it appears that P. hudsonia and P. nuttalli may not be different species, whereas the Korean race of P. pica is genetically very distinct from the other Eurasian (as well as the North American) forms. Either the North American, Korean, and remaining Eurasian forms are accepted as three or four separate species, or there exists only a single species, Pica pica.[8]

(black-and-white) magpies

Genus Pica

Eurasian magpie, Pica pica Black-billed magpie, Pica hudsonia (may be conspecific with P. pica) Yellow-billed magpie, Pica nuttalli (may be conspecific with P. (pica) hudsonia) Asir magpie, Pica asirensis (may be conspecific with P. pica) Maghreb magpie, Pica mauritanica (may be conspecific with P. pica) Korean magpie, Pica sericea (may be conspecific with P. pica)

Oriental (blue/green) magpies

Genus Urocissa

Taiwan blue magpie, Urocissa
caerulea Red-billed blue magpie, Urocissa
erythrorhyncha Yellow-billed blue magpie, Urocissa
flavirostris White-winged magpie, Urocissa
whiteheadi Sri Lanka blue magpie, Urocissa

Genus Cissa

Common green magpie, Cissa chinensis Indochinese green magpie, Cissa hypoleuca Javan green magpie, Cissa thalassina Bornean green magpie, Cissa jefferyi

Azure-winged magpies

Genus Cyanopica

Azure-winged magpie, Cyanopica
cyanus Iberian magpie, Cyanopica

Other "magpies"[edit]

The black magpie, Platysmurus leucopterus, is a treepie; it is neither a magpie nor, as was long believed, a jay. Treepies are a distinct group of corvids externally similar to magpies. The Australian magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen, is conspicuously piebald, with black and white plumage reminiscent of a European magpie. It is a member of the family Artamidae
and not a corvid.

In culture[edit]

The Magpie's Nest, an English fairy tale The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl, Chinese folk tale where a flock of magpies form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day. "Heckle and Jeckle", a series of 1960s American cartoon shorts about two magpies who are always getting into trouble. "One for Sorrow" (nursery rhyme) La gazza ladra
La gazza ladra
(The Thieving Magpie) an opera by Gioachino Rossini, and also The Thieving Magpie, a live album by the prog rock band Marillion, so named because the band used Rossini's overture as the opening music for their concerts. 'The Magpie
Salute, a rock band formed by The Black Crowes
The Black Crowes
co-founder Rich Robinson.


Sri Lanka blue magpie

Indochinese green magpie

Iberian magpie

Yellow-billed magpie


^ https://www.welcomewildlife.com/worlds-smartest-birds/ ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/magpies-reflect-on-a-newly-discovered-intellectual-prowess-901857.html ^ https://www.britannica.com/spotlight/eurasian-magpie-a-true-bird-brain ^ Prior H, et al. (2008). De Waal F, ed. "Mirror-Induced Behavior in the Magpie
(Pica pica): Evidence of Self-Recognition". PLoS Biology. Public Library of Science. 6 (8): e202. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060202. PMC 2517622 . PMID 18715117. Retrieved 2008-08-21.  ^ Ari, C.; D’Agostino, D.P. (2016). "Contingency checking and self-directed behaviors in giant manta rays: Do elasmobranchs have self-awareness?". Journal of Ethology. Springer. 34 (2): 167–174. doi:10.1007/s10164-016-0462-z.  ^ Ericson et al. (2005) ^ Kyukov et al, Synchronic east–west divergence in azure-winged magpies ( Cyanopica
cyanus) and magpies (Pica pica), Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 42(4): 342-351 (2004) ^ Lee et al., 2003


Ericson, Per G. P.; Jansén, Anna-Lee; Johansson, Ulf S. & Ekman, Jan (2005): Inter-generic relationships of the crows, jays, magpies and allied groups (Aves: Corvidae) based on nucleotide sequence data. Journal of Avian Biology 36: 222–234. Lee, Sang-im; Parr, Cynthia S.; Hwang, Youna; Mindell, David P. & Choe, Jae C. (2003): Phylogeny of magpies (genus Pica) inferred from mtDNA data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 29: 250–257.

Further reading[edit]

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]

videos, photos and sounds on the Internet Bird

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)