Black-billed Magpie

In Europe, Magpie is used by English speakers as a synonym for the European Magpie; it is the only magpie in Europe outside the Iberian Peninsula.

Picture of the Black-billed Magpie has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution.
Original source: Own work by friend of uploader
Author: Facetious ca, original photo by Stephen S Skrzydlo

The Black-billed Magpie is classified as Least Concern. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

The Black-billed Magpie is a bird in the crow family that inhabits the western half of North America. It is notable for its domed nests, and for being one of only four North American songbirds whose tail makes up half or more of the total body length (the others being the Yellow-billed Magpie, the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and the Fork-tailed Flycatcher). More

Black-billed magpies range in the north from Alaska, central western British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and southern Manitoba, through the Rocky Mountains down south to all the Rocky Mountain states including New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and some bordering states as well. It frequents open country with thickets and scattered trees, especially riparian groves, but can be found within cities as well. Typical size and appearance - BlackbilledMagpie. More

Black-billed Magpie is found in urban as well as rural areas. Its bold black-and-white pattern and long tail make it easy to identify Come watch nesting birds at Nestcams. More

The Black-billed Magpie is a bird in the crow family that inhabits the western half of North America, from Central Western British Columbia to Southern Manitoba, Kansas, and Nevada. There is also a separate population in Southern Alaska. Externally, it is almost identical with the European Magpie, Pica pica, and is considered conspecific by many sources. More

Bent Life History for the Black-billed Magpie - the common name and sub-species reflect the nomenclature in use at the time the description was written. AMERICAN MAGPIE PICA PICA HUDSONIA (Sabine) CONTRIBUTED BY JEAN MYRON LINSDALE HABITS The magpie has been closely associated with man for many centuries in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, and the lore concerning it has developed in great amount. More

North American RangeThe Black-billed Magpie is a medium-sized bird with an extremely long tail. It is a highly distinctive bird of eastern Washington's open country. The magpie has black covering its head and extending through its breast and down its back. It has white at the base of its wings, on its belly, and on its upper and lower outer-wings. The rest of its wings and its long tail are iridescent blue-green. More

The Black-billed Magpie is part of the crow family, and inhabits western North America and southern Alaska. This species is one of the few in which mates stay together for life. They nest at the tops of evergreens and other deciduous trees, and are mainly non-migratory. At times, the Black-billed Magpie will travel south or east during winter months, but they typically form colonies and roost together during this time of year. More

Adult Black-billed Magpie perched on a fence post. More

Courtesy of Barbara Gleason Black-billed Magpies are part of the Corvidae Family, which includes crows, ravens and jays. This family is known for their noisy and aggressive behavior and, most notably, their intelligence and curiosity. According to accounts of the Lewis and Clark expedition, magpies entered tents and stole items from the group. Members of this family are also known to mob predators (e.g., hawks and owls) in attempts to drive the potential predator out of their territory. More

* Black-billed Magpie had a colorful association with early Americans, frequently following bison-hunting Native Americans and living on the refuse of their hunts. When Lewis and Clark first encountered magpies in 1804 in South Dakota, these birds were bold, entering tents to steal meat and taking food from the hand. More

Black-billed MagpieThe Black-billed Magpie is a large bird in the crow family that occurs in the western half of North America from Alaska to Oklahoma. Externally, it is almost identical with European Magpie, Pica pica, and is considered conspecific by many sources (of, or belonging to, the same species). The American Ornithologists' Union, however, splits it as a separate species, Pica hudsonia, on the grounds that mtDNA sequence studies place it closer to California's Yellow-billed Magpie, Pica nuttalli, than to the European Magpie. More

Black-billed magpies eat mostly insects, but they are opportunists, and omnivorous. They also eat berries, nuts seeds, bird eggs, small rodents, and carrion. They forage mainly on the ground searching for food by using their bill to flip over debris. They will follow predators to clean up after a kill. Magpies are known for preying on the nests of other birds. They are often seen on the backs of large animals such as cattle, where they eat large quantities of ticks. More

black-billed magpie, a crow-sized bird that flew up and landed on a sandstone outcrop just a few yards away. We had been trying to remain quiet and hidden while watching several deer, but the magpie would have none of that. It gave us a loud scolding—blowing our cover—then glided down the rise, landing on a fencepost a short distance from the deer. APPEARANCE That magpie seemed large for the species. More

The species Pica pica, the black-billed magpie, is widespread in the Northern Hemisphere. Also called pie2.2. Any of various birds resembling the magpie, such as the Australian bell magpie of the family Cracticidae.3. A person who chatters.4. One who compulsively collects or hoards small objects. - - magpie n1. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Animals) any of various passerine birds of the genus Pica, esp P. More

General DescriptionThe Black-billed Magpie is medium-sized and boldly patterned. Sexes similar in appearance, and plumages similar throughout year. Adults largely black, with contrasting white scapulars, white belly, iridescent metallic blue-green wings and tail, and large white markings on primaries (rarely on secondaries), with form white patch on wing when wing is extended. Tail long and graduated. Sexes distinguished by differences in size. Males are larger (Trost 1999). More

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: The black-billed magpie is 18 in. long and strikingly pied (black-and-white), with an iridescent blue-green tail. ADAPTATIONS: The call of this bird is a nasal inquisitive mag mag mag. They are also known for hoarding small, bright objects. The Black-billed Magpie frequently lands on large mammals, such as deer and moose, to remove ticks from them. The magpie eats the ticks, and then hides some for later use (as members of the crow and jay family often do with excess food). More

Habitat: Black-billed Magpies are birds of shrubsteppe and riparian environments, their main requirements being trees or tall shrubs for nesting and open habitats such as grasslands, sagebrush, meadows, and pasture lands for foraging. They frequent riparian thickets in winter and also congregate around feedlots, barnyards, landfills, and other human-made environments (Trost 1999). In a study along the Yellowstone R. in Dawson Co. More

Picture of Pica pica above has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution.
Original source: Jaroslav Koleček
Author: Jaroslav Koleček
Permission: Some rights reserved
Order : Passeriformes
Family : Corvidae
Genus : Pica
Species : pica
Authority : (Linnaeus, 1758)