|Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
(aka Common Magpie, Black-billed Magpie)
The Magpie is distributed throughout most of Europe, a good part of Asia and in western North America. See the distribution map at Birdlife International.
It has been spreading northwards in Scotland, where photos 1 to 4 were taken, over the past few decades and in many areas what was once a rarity is now regarded by many as a bit of a pest. It is largely absent from the Highlands of Scotland.
|It is found in open or lightly wooded habitat and, in
common with some other members of the crow family, has adapted to life in built-up areas.
It is an opportunistic feeder and, besides beetles, fruit and seeds, it preys on small birds and eats domestic rubbish and carrion.
|The nest, as can be seen in these photos, is a large, loose globe of twigs with inside a bowl of mud lined with assorted soft materials. This particular nest had two entrances. There were only two juveniles visible outside the nest when these photos were taken but there may have been others inside the nest. The normal clutch is 5 to 7 eggs.|
|The 4th photo shows an adult removing a fecal sac from the
The 5th photo was taken in Bhutan.
Photos 6 to 8 were taken in Morocco and show the sub-species P. p. mauritanica with a distinctive patch of blue bare skin behind the eye.
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