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Magpie (Black-billed)

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Pica hudsonia
Magpie (Black-billed)


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.

Body Traits

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).

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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.

Magpie (Black-billed)

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Amsel, Sheri. "Magpie (Black-billed)" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2023. March 22, 2023
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