Magpies are members of the corvid family, which also includes ravens, crows and jays. They are easily distinguished from other birds by their size and striking black and white color pattern. A hood of loose sticks covers the nest with multiple entrances.

|  Legend, Nests in a deciduous tree or in a shrub at a height of 20-30 (5-50) feet, in The tail of a black-billed magpie is made up of long, layered feathers, the middle pair of which protrude farthest of all. Magpies are often found near livestock where they feed on dung-and carrion-associated insects. Magpies, like ravens, may peck the eyes out of newborn or sick livestock. USGS Profile   A frightening program using pyrotechnics, scarecrows, and propane cannons in conjunction with human presence is effective for magpies in most damage situations, especially for roosts and crops. US Winter Range Map   |    US Utah Bird Profile Black-billed Magpie - Pica hudsonia Name Roots: (L. pica, "magpie") In Utah: Article by Yvonne Carter by Jeff Cooper. Black-billed magpies are found from coastal and central Alaska to Saskatchewan, south to Texas, and west to central California, east of the Sierra-Cascade range. (1) Under Title 23, Wildlife Resources Code of Utah and in accordance with a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Agriculture and Food, Department of Health, and the Division of Wildlife Resources, this rule governs the collection, importation, exportation, transportation, and possession of animals and their parts. Like other corvids, they are very vocal, even boisterous. Black-billed Magpie - Pica They typically roost in dense thickets or trees. The black-billed magpie inhabits foothills, ranch and farm shelterbelts, sagebrush, streamside thickets, parks, and in Alaska, coastal areas. This species is not a cowbird host. Magpies rob wild bird and poultry nests of eggs and hatchlings. In their range, Black-billed Magpies occasionally visit platform bird feeders and suet feeders. Remove low brush and roost trees in areas where damage is excessive. During winter, magpies may congregate in loose colonies and form nightly roosts of hundreds after they have migrated southward and to lower elevations. They learn quickly and seem to sense danger. Magpies nest once a year, but will re-nest if their first attempt fails. Most problems occur in localized areas where loose colonies have concentrated in close proximity to humans. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The above information was adapted from PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF WILDLIFE DAMAGE with permission of the editors, Scott E. Hygnstrom, Robert M. Timm, and Gary E. Larson (Cooperative Extension Division, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Damage Control, Great Plains Agricultural Council Wildlife Committee). Keep young poultry, poultry nests, and vulnerable livestock in covered fenced pens. Typically, that does not affect wild bird populations except in local areas where limited habitat makes nests easy to find.

Magpies, like other corvids , are intelligent birds. In the past Black-billed Magpies were persecuted by farmers, ranchers, and game managers who considered them to be vermin, but today they are fully protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.Back to top. Yellow-billed magpies build similar nests, but theirs often resemble mistletoe clumps, which are common in trees where they nest. Like other corvids, magpies walk with a strut and hop quickly when rushed. They are boisterous and curious, but shy and secretive in the presence of danger. They elude predators and danger by flitting in and out of trees or diving into heavy cover.

. Frightening A black-billed magpie's beak is oblong, and weakly curved toward the tip. Ranges of the two species do not overlap. They are easily separated by bill color, as their names imply, and by geographic location. Once the nest is built, the female lays six or seven eggs. The incubation period is 16 to 18 days and young are able to fly 3 to 4 weeks after hatching.

Purpose and Authority. Magpie nests are usually found in small colonies. Nests are collections of loose sticks, mud, bark and other available materials, often built on older nests. Bold and gregarious, magpies are well adapted to man. During the breeding Magpies are protected as migratory non-game … / Song, |  

Occasionally they wander to areas further east and south of their normal range. Netting can be used to protect small areas and valuable crops. Proper care of traps and decoy birds is necessary. Other Photos - ID / Song. Magpies are opportunists and nest raiders. Photos: Courtesy Bridgerland Audubon Society Image Files, Text: Stokes Nature Center: Lyle Bingham and Dick Hurren, Cornell Lab of Ornithology: All About Birds, Black-Billed Magpie,, Accessed July 31, 2008,, Accessed July 31, 2008,, Accessed July 31, 2008,, Accessed July 31, 2008, I knew a man who referred to those black and white, long-tailed birds as “Holstein Pheasants.”,,,, Unlike other members of the Corvidaefamily, the black-billed magpie is str… Their home-building skills will not produce awards for neatness on the outside. Few are without opinions when it comes to these protected, I remind you protected, birds. Habitat Modification Nesting, feeding, characteristic behaviors: Nests in a deciduous tree or in a shrub at a height of 20-30 (5-50) feet, in a spherical nest. They also forage for ticks and other insects on the backs of domestic animals. ."

hudsonia, Other Photos Their bills and bare skin patches behind their eyes are bright yellow. They typically roost in dense thickets or trees. They are typically found close to water in relatively open areas with scattered trees and thickets. These Holsteins clean up roadkill, tent caterpillars, grasshoppers and many other things that we’d rather not see or smell. Magpies can be seen harassing hawks, eagles and owls as they perch in trees. a spherical nest. The black-billed magpie of Utah is related to the yellow-billed magpies in California and more distantly to the European magpie and the Korean magpie. Other species of birds and mammals often use magpie nests after they have been abandoned. Turns out, this is true for seagulls… Backyard Tips. Its appearance is distinguishable from other magpies by its dense plumage, shorter and rounder wings, longer tail, and its iridescent blue feathers. The nest chamber is a cup lined with grass and mud, and normally enclosed by a canopy of sticks. Magpies are associated with the dry, cool climatic regions of North America. In Asia, they are revered for good luck; while their relatives, the crows, are omens of bad luck. They have white bellies and shoulder patches and their wings flash white in flight.

Magpies can cause substantial damage locally to crops such as almonds, cherries, corn, walnuts, melons, grapes, peaches, wheat, figs and milo . Magpies are not swift fliers. Our Black-billed magpies mate for life and stay together until one dies. Alphabetical Listing - Taxonomic Listing - Does Not Apply Listing. And fruit growers fight them with netting, flags and pyrotechnics. Yellow-billed magpies are residents of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys of central California and range south to Santa Barbara County. Remove nests of offending magpies that are raiding poultry farms.

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