The Magpie

Jack of all trades

RSPB MagpieMagpies seem to be jacks of all trades – scavengers, predators and pest-destroyers, their challenging, almost arrogant attitude has won them few friends.

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.

Non-breeding birds will gather together in flocks.

Latin name

Pica pica

Family

Crows and allies (Corvidae)

Where to see them

Found across England, Wales and Northern 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.

Click on any of the birds below to find out all you need to know!