Species: Pica hudsonia
HABITAT AND RANGE:
This bird prefers semi-open country with
some large bushes or trees, but can also
be a common sight in many towns. It
builds a bulky stick nest in a tree or
bush. The Black-billed Magpie can be
found in the western half of North
America from Alaska to Oklahoma.
The black-billed magpie is 18 in. long
and strikingly pied (black-and-white),
with an iridescent blue-green tail.
The call of this bird is a nasal
inquisitive mag mag mag. They are also
known for hoarding small, bright
objects. The Black-billed Magpie
frequently lands on large mammals, such
as deer and moose, to remove ticks from
them. The magpie eats the ticks, and
then hides some for later use (as
members of the crow and jay family often
do with excess food).
This bird is omnivorous, eating many
types of insects, carrion, eggs and
rodents, as well as berries, seeds and
nuts, and also garbage and food from
pets that are fed outside. They forage
on the ground, but also may steal food
from other birds.
REPRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT:
Both parents build the nest and feed the
young. There can be between 4 and 7 eggs
in a clutch; however, the average is
between 6 and 7.
STATUS IN WILD: