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Common name Eurasian magpie
Scientific name Pica pica
Type Shrubland birds
Status Resident

Unmistakable bird of medium size (approx 51 cm or 20 in). Black and white plumage in general with metallic, green and blue reflections. Black upperparts and white underparts. Long tail and wings with white spots. Black legs and a straight and strong bill.



Where it lives

Generalist species and adaptable to all types of habitats. It avoids closed forests and high mountains, preferring mixed farmlands with copses and groves. Also in parks, cities and urban environments.

How it lives

Occasional bird in the province, although resident all year round in the areas where it is present. The Eurasian Magpie breeds in mid-April. One annual laying of 5 to 8 eggs. Nest in trees, shrubs or in supply towers. Omnivorous feeding. It consumes insects, seeds, fruits, carrion and depredates on small birds, eggs and even small vertebrates. Especially intelligent and social bird, with great communication skills to obtain food. When a bird finds a corpse it begins to caw to attract more magpies so that the hubbub catches the attention of crows and vultures, the only ones able to open the skin of the animal.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Very rare species in Malaga, considered occasional (doubtful or recent presence or rarely observed). The presence of the species is known in the eastern Costa del Sol, between Rincon de la Victoria and Torre del Mar, with at least one nesting pair in the municipality of Vélez Málaga (stages 2 and 3 of the Great Path).

Curious facts

Magpies have been popularly associated in some cultures with bad luck, witchcraft, suffering from diseases, being robbed and even with the arrival of death. They have a reputation as harmful and noxious. However, they are among the most intelligent birds that are known. Their brain has a size that is similar in proportion to that of chimpanzees and of man, and much larger than that of the rest of the birds. Their cognitive capacity is much higher than that of any bird. Their ecological strategy is none other than to take advantage of all the resources and opportunities that are presented to them, learning even from their mistakes to make future decisions. In that sense, magpies do what humans do. So, are we as noxious as them?

Wintering Summer Resident Migration