Alternative Name: Common Magpie; Pied Magpie
Includes: Arabian Magpie; Oriental Magpie; Black-rumped Magpie; Kamchatka Magpie; Maghreb Magpie
[ edit] Identification
Black head, neck, breast and back
Prominent white side patches and belly
Wings and tail, whilst looking black in certain lights, are actually bluey-green and purple
Very long tail, diamond-shaped when spread out
[ edit] Subspecies Variations
bottanensis has a black rump, a short tail, a stout bill and only little gloss in plumage
serica is dark and small and has a short tail
mauritanica has a large blue patch of bare skin behind the eye
asirensis is darker, has a black rump, less white in plumage and a short tail
Sexes are similar. Juveniles are duller than adults.
[ edit] Distribution
Found in most of
Europe, the Middle East, northern Africa ( Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), Saudi Arabia (Asir massif), central Asia to China, Korea, Japan and east Siberia.
Widespread and common in most of its range.
[ edit] Taxonomy
This species was formerly considered conspecific with
Black-billed Magpie P. hudsonia.
[ edit] Subspecies
About 12 subspecies are recognized
P. p. mauretanica (Maghreb Magpie):
P. p. asirensis (Arabian Magpie):
Assir Mountains (south-western Arabia)
Southern Transbaicalia to eastern Mongolia and Altai Mountains
P. p. camtschatica (Kamchatka Magpie):
Northern shores of Sea of Okhotsk to Kamchatka Peninsula
P. p. bottanensis (Black-rumped or Tibetian Magpie):
P. p. serica (alternative spelling sericea (Oriental Magpie):
This is a thread discussing possible splits from this group of subspecies, with serica and bottanensis the strongest contenders(?).
[ edit] Habitat
Farmland and open country. Also town gardens and parks.
[ edit] Behaviour
Walks and will hop sideways.
[ edit] Flight
Quick, with deep, fast, even wing beats. Short glides.
Omnivorous. Feeds mainly on invertebrates, small mammals, lizards, frogs, bird eggs, nestlings and carrion.
[ edit] Breeding
Builds a domed nest in tall trees, or hedgerows which often contains shiny objects
[ edit] Vocalisation
Harsh "chack, chack, chack".
Listen in an external program
[ edit] References
Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
Birdwatchers Pocket Guide ISBN 1-85732-804-3
Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
Collins Field Guid 5th Edition
Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
[ edit] External Links