RSPB
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Conservation status: Green

With its noisy chattering, black-and-white plumage and long tail, there is nothing else quite like the magpie in the UK. When seen close-up its black plumage takes on an altogether more colourful hue with a purplish-blue iridescent sheen to the wing feathers, and a green gloss to the tail. Magpies seem to be jacks of all trades - scavengers, predators and pest-destroyers, their challenging, almost arrogant attitude has won them few friends. Non-breeding birds will gather together in flocks.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Pica pica

Family

Crows and allies (Corvidae)

Where to see them

Found across England, Wales and N Ireland, but more localised in Scotland, absent from the Highlands. Seen in a range of habitats from lowland farmland to upland moors.

When to see them

All year round.

What they eat

Omnivore and scavenger.

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-600,000 territories--

Distribution

Key

Audio

Stuart Fisher, Xeno-canto