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UK Nature > Birds > Pica pica




Scientific Name: Pica pica
Common Name: Magpie

Pica pica, more commonly known as the Magpie, 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.

They are to be found all year round across England, Wales and N Ireland, but more localised in Scotland, and absent from the Highlands. Seen in a range of habitats from lowland farmland to upland moors, they will also visit gardens. Magpies nest in trees and tall bushes, using sticks and mud as building materials. The domed nest has a side entrance hole.











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