Sunday photoblogging: magpies

by Chris Bertram on March 14, 2021




Lynne 03.14.21 at 2:10 pm

British magpies! Our first child was born in the UK and I remember spotting magpies and doing the rhyme “…three for a girl, four for a boy” because in those days the sex was usually a surprise. Thing was, we saw quite a few groups of magpies over the course of the pregnancy so naturally there was at least one accurate prediction: we had a boy.


Alan White 03.14.21 at 2:35 pm

Very nice–while there are magpies in the US west, unfortunately none here in Wisconsin.


Richard Blumberg 03.14.21 at 8:14 pm

Beautiful birds! I wish we had them in southern Ohio.


John Quiggin 03.15.21 at 12:18 am

The (unrelated) Australian bird of the same name defends its nest ferociously against passers-by of all kinds, but particularly cyclists. Produces mixed feelings at best, even among birdlovers.


Matt 03.15.21 at 2:02 am

Those look a bit more tidy than the Australian version John notes. I live around lots of them, and go near them all the time, and despite my best efforts have never seen any swooping at all, despite the hype and taking anti-precautions. I’m not sure if the Melbourne ones are more relaxed than others (possible, I suppose) or if the phenomena is over-hyped and not nearly as common as believed (my guess, but again, I’m not sure.) I do like their warble.


Chris Bertram 03.15.21 at 9:13 am

One of the most intelligent of all animals, apparently. I usually see them in pairs, but on this occasion there were maybe 30 together.


John Holbo 03.15.21 at 9:56 am

Nice to get four different gaze lines.


Odd man out 03.16.21 at 2:13 am

I’m always a bit taken aback seeing magpies in wet climates like Britain. I think of them as typical of the arid interior West in this country–in fact, you could probably draw a pretty accurate map of magpie distribution by following a line for annual rainfall less than 25 inches or so. An acquaintance who is an ornithologist with an interest in magpies told me that the difference in habitat is part of the reason American magpies, which used to be named pica pica, like Eurasian magpies, are now pica hudsonia

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