Cyanopica cyana cooki
The Iberian magpie (Cyanopica cooki) is a bird in the crow family. It is 31–35 cm long and similar in overall shape to the Eurasian magpie (Pica pica) but is more slender with proportionately smaller legs and bill. It belongs to the genus Cyanopica.
It has a glossy black top to the head and a white throat. The underparts and the back are a light grey-fawn in colour with the wings and the feathers of the long (16–20 cm) tail are an azure blue. It inhabits various types of coniferous (mainly pine) and broadleaf forest, including parks and gardens in the eastern populations.
Distribution and habitat
The Iberian magpie occurs in southwestern and central parts of the Iberian Peninsula, in Spain and Portugal. However, it can sometimes be spotted also in south-western France, and recently its presence has been reported even in northern Italy. This taxon is usually treated as conspecific with azure-winged magpie C. cyana, but this population is 5400 miles (9,000 km) away from those in eastern Asia. Recent genetic analysis has shown that the Iberian magpie and the azure-winged magpie are distinct at species level.
Behaviour and ecology
Often Iberian magpies find food as a family group or several groups making flocks of up to 70 birds. The largest groups congregate after the breeding season and throughout the winter months. Their diet consists mainly of acorns (oak seeds) and pine nuts, extensively supplemented by invertebrates and their larvae, soft fruits and berries, and also human-provided scraps in parks and towns.
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