The Eurasian magpie or common magpie (Pica pica ) is a resident breeding bird throughout the northern part of the Eurasian continent. It is one of several birds in the crow family (corvids) designated magpies, and belongs to the Holarctic radiation of "monochrome" magpies. In Europe, "magpie" is used by English speakers as a synonym for the Eurasian magpie: the only other magpie in Europe is the Iberian magpie (Cyanopica cooki ), which is limited to the Iberian Peninsula.Show More
The 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. The expansion of its nidopallium is approximately the same in its relative size as the brain of chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and humans. It is the only bird known to pass the mirror test, along with very few other non-avian species.Show Less
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An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
Monogamy is a form of relationship in which both the male and the female has only one partner. This pair may cohabitate in an area or territory for...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The Eurasian magpie is a resident breeding bird throughout the northern part of the Eurasian continent. It is glossy black in color with a metallic green and violet sheen; the belly and scapulars (shoulder feathers) are pure white. The graduated tail is black, glossed with green and reddish-purple. The plumage of the sexes is similar but females are slightly smaller. 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. Their tail is much shorter than the adults.
The range of Eurasian magpies extends across temperate Eurasia from Spain and Ireland in the west to the Kamchatka Peninsula. These birds are normally sedentary and spend winters close to their nesting territories but populations living near the northern limit of their range in Sweden, Finland, and Russia can move south in harsh weather. Eurasian magpies prefer to live in open countryside with scattered trees and usually avoid treeless areas and dense forests. They sometimes breed in suburban areas such as parks and gardens and can often be found close to the center of cities.
Eurasian magpies live in mated pairs and generally occupy the same territory in successive years. Outside of the breeding season they often gather in noisy groups flying about and even performing various displays. These birds are active during the day spending most of the time searching for food on the ground. They may also steal food from other birds or hide it in the small hole in the ground, for later use. Eurasian magpies have a well-known call. It is a choking chatter "chac-chac" or a repetitive "chac-chac-chac-chac". Young birds 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 produce a kind of hiss barely noticeable from afar.
Eurasian magpies are monogamous, and the pairs often remain together from one breeding season to the next. The breeding season takes place in spring and during this time the birds perform courtship display in order to attract a mate or to strengthen a pair bond. 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. They also perform short buoyant flights and chases. 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. Where trees are scarce, though even in the well-wooded country, nests are at times built in bushes and hedgerows. In Europe, clutches are typically laid in April and usually contain 5 or 6 eggs. They are incubated for 21-22 days by the female, who is fed on the nest by the male. 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. The nestlings open their eyes 7 to 8 days after hatching. For several days before they are ready to leave the nest, the chicks clamber around the nearby branches. They fledge at around 27 days but the parents continue to feed their chicks for several weeks more. They also protect the chicks from predators, as their ability to fly is poor, making them vulnerable.
Eurasian magpies don't face any serious threats at present.
According to Wikipedia resource, the total population size of the Eurasian magpie is between 46 and 228 million individuals. According to the IUCN Red List, in Europe, the breeding population of the species consists of 7,500,000-19,000,000 breeding pairs, equating to 22,500,000-57,000,000 individuals. National population estimates include around 10,000-100,000 breeding pairs in China; around 100-100,000 introduced breeding pairs in Taiwan; around 10,000-100,000 breeding pairs in Korea; around 100-10,000 breeding pairs (possibly introduced) in Japan and around 10,000-100,000 breeding pairs in Russia. Currently, the Eurasian magpie is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.