Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)

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The Eurasian Magpie, European Magpie, or Common Magpie (Pica pica) is a resident breeding bird throughout Europe, much of Asia and northwest Africa. It is one of several birds in the crow family named as magpies, and belongs to the Holarctic radiation of “monochrome” magpies.

The Eurasian Magpie is one of the most intelligent birds, and it is believed to be one of the most intelligent of all animals. The expansion of its nidopallium is approximately the same in its relative size as is found in chimpanzees, orangutans and humans.

The scientific name Pica is just the Latin word for Magpie. When Linnaeus first described this species in 1758, he named it Corvus picaThe Eurasian Magpie is 44–46 centimetres (17.3–18.1 in) in length – in the adult over 50% of this is tail – and a wingspan of 52–62 centimetres (20–24 in). Its head, neck and breast are glossy black with a metallic green and violet sheen; the belly and scapulars (shoulder feathers) are pure white; the wings are black glossed with green or purple, and the primaries have white inner webs, conspicuous when the wing is open. The graduated tail is black, shot with bronze-green and other iridescent colours. The legs and bill are black.

photo : Mihai BACIU


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