The Magpie with its immaculate black and white plumage and green and blue gloss, is an unmistakable bird. In flight it can be easily distinguished by its long-tailed profile.


Breeds and winters in open areas with trees or bushes, in woods, parks, gardens and hedgerows.


According to folklore, Magpies gather to stage 'parliaments' in which a group of birds apparently 'decides' to expel one or more of the birds in their group. More likely this is the apparent outcome of one Magpie trying to muscle in to an area which is at the edge of the territories of several pairs. All the territory holders will move to defend their bit of land, so they seem to cluster around the intruder until eventually it is chased off. Birds which don't hold a territory often roost communally in winter when flocks of up to 200 may be seen, especially towards dusk.


A mainly sedentary bird.

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