Can someone tell me, is it possible that I have had two Azure-winged Magpies, in my garden in Hampshire this morning? If not, what might they be please? They were beautiful birds, a cat asleep in garden, stopped them coming down, just sat in tree, camera not too hand, as usual!!
Hi ethelburger and welcome to the forum.
Nigh on impossible I'd say. They are confined to southern Spain and Portugal. This is an Azure-winged Magpie.
Not sure what to suggest. Could they have been Jays?
Even our own Magpie can be colourful in the right light.
hi ,just seen your message ,my husband and I saw an azure winged magpie in n.wales near cader ridris ( dollgelau ) when we were staying in a cottage there late oct last year . we saw it serveral times getting food we had put out but were not able to get a photo . so had no proof . it is a very distinctive bird and could not have been anything else . we were told it may have escaped from a collection ? but it was lovely to see ,just wish we had proof.
As a wild bird ths seems pretty doubtful,going back through BTO and other lists there does not seem to be any records.
Suppose we will have to wait for Ethelburger to reply for confirmation now.
I'd be very surprised! There a number of collections in the UK that have them (and I have 2 in an aviary in my garden) but I've never heard of any escaping or there being a wild population of them anywhere. Do try to get photos if the mystery birds come back!
We saw an azure winged magpie here in Newton abbot, Devon.it was definitely not a Jay and identical to the photo of the azure winged magpie. I have also seen a Newton abbot sighting posted on another site. The distinctive azure blue wing was what caught our eye against the green of the tree.
According to Birdguides there has been 6 sightings of Azure Winged Magpies in the UK ('05,'06 and '07) all of which were presumed to be escaped birds nor wild ones.This bird may be another escapee.
Last Wednesday my daughter alerted my wife to a strange bird in the garden, I could hear my daughter who is in her late 30’s telling my wife she had never seen a bird like this one, my wife went to the window and shouted to me to look out of my office window which is upstairs.
Whilst I was watching the bird it flew across the garden and settled on the fence below my window. I was 20 feet away from the bird l and had an interrupted view of it, my first impression was this is a magpie but the colours were all wrong. The most striking feature of the bird was the long light blue tail and the light blue colouring along its wing, it had a sandy coloured body and a black head.
After looking through the a reference book I have I was, and am, in no doubt whatsoever that the bird I saw was an Azure –winged magpie, it certainly was not a Jay, as the jay’s tail is not blue neither is the Jay’s tail long enough. I could clearly see the markings on the bird as it sat on the fence and then as is flew off
Both my wife and Daughter identified the bird as Azure –winged magpie; the bird was seen in Buckinghamshire.
Hello Hobbs and welcome to the forum.
Your description does sound good for an Azure-winged Magpie. However, as you probably know they don't naturally occur in the UK and in Europe can only be seen in the wild in Spain and Portugal. If it indeed it was one it was almost certainly an escape from a collection.
They are somewhat smaller than our Common Magpie although the tail is very long. Here's a photo of one I saw in the Coto Donana National Park in Spain. Sparrow in the background for a size comparison. Does that accord with what you saw?
Are there any places locally which have bird collections? Keep a camera handy in case it comes back.
The picture Galatas put up in Feb.shows how the colours on our native bird can change in the light ,this may be the case here s no Azure birds have been reported on birding networks.
The long light blue tail and sandy body seals it for me the bird we saw may have escaped from someone’s collection but that is most defiantly what we saw.
I have a fairly large garden and live near a 70 acre lake so we get many different types of birds in the garden, the most common bird visitors are Starlings, Wood Pigeons, Collared Doves and our common Magpie, as I look out of the window now, there are a pair of Magpies hopping around in the garden. I have seen 5 pairs of magpies in the garden at one time I think extremely unlikely that all three of us mistook such a familiar bird as our common magpie for the Azure Winged Magpie, the bird sat on the fence below me for at least 15 seconds so I had time to get a good look at him.
The Azure Winged Magpie may physically resemble our common magpie but the colouring is quite different, that long light blue tail and the sandy coloured body leaves me in no doubt that the bird I saw was a Azure Winged Magpie
Hobbs, that's wonderful - what an amazing sighting! It must be said that five pairs of regular Magpies at once must have been quite a sight as well.
I have never seen so many common magpies as I have in the last few years there numbers have increased over the last 5 years