They are found west of the Rocky Mountains, along the southern coast of Alaska south to Arizona and in Canada East to Ontario.
They live in open grassland or shrubby areas and are common around homes and in parks.
They are large birds with a black head, chest and upper shoulders. They have a white belly and shoulder-patch. They have a very long tail that is longest in the middle and tapers shorter off to the sides. Their wings and tail though look dark-colored but in sunlight are iridescent blue-green. They have a big, black beak and dark eyes and legs. Males and females look alike (no sexual dimorphism).
They will pick insects and ticks off of hooved wildlife (deer, etc.).
They eat insects, seeds, nuts, small mammals and even dead animals (carrion).
Females lay up to 7 light brownish-green eggs with some spots in a very large nest of mud and sticks. They often build their nest up on telephone poles.
When you research information you must cite the reference. Citing for websites is different from citing from books, magazines and periodicals. The style of citing shown here is from the MLA Style Citations (Modern Language Association).
When citing a WEBSITE the general format is as follows.
Author Last Name, First Name(s). "Title: Subtitle of Part of Web Page, if appropriate." Title: Subtitle: Section of Page if appropriate. Sponsoring/Publishing Agency, If Given. Additional significant descriptive information. Date of Electronic Publication or other Date, such as Last Updated. Day Month Year of access < URL >.
Amsel, Sheri. "Magpie (Black-billed)" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2017. December 18, 2017
< http://www.exploringnature.org/db/view/220 >