Talk:Eurasian magpie

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Distribution map[edit]

The distribution map of subspecies for Pica pica shown in this page is wrong. A correct distribution map can be found in figure 1 of Reference 14. In particular, the area in the map denoted "hemileucoptera" is in fact "leucoptera" (the variety hemileucoptera must be included in bactriana if one wants to be consistent with the main text where it is not included as subspecies), and the area denoted "leucoptera" is in fact "anderssoni", now usually included in "serica" (as has been done in the main text of the page). Birds in Norway should be all "fennorum" (however in south Sweden "pica"). — Preceding unsigned comment added by RedSiskin (talkcontribs) 10:41, 12 March 2017 (UTC)


Any source that people in Devon, UK spit eight times to avert bad luck upon seeing a lone magpie? I've lived in Devon for all my life, and have never met anyone who did this. I'm quite willing to believe it's true, of course, it'd just be nice to see a source.

In my family, I was taught to blow kisses to each magpie you see, so if you see four magpies, you blow four kisses. I was also taught the rhyme:

One for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for a letter, Four for a boy. Five for silver, Six for gold, Seven for a secret, never to be told. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Caspian.merlin (talkcontribs) 22:28, 10 September 2012

Poor girls, they don't even get a mention - although everyone I know outside my family says 'girl' instead of letter, and it seems to be just my family who blows them kisses - I've met people who merely greet them, or acknowledge them somehow, or even salute them.

I was also lead to believe that blowing a lone magpie a kiss averts the sorrow - I've never understood this, since then surely blowing a pair of them a kiss would avert the joy... Caspian — Preceding unsigned comment added by Caspian.merlin (talkcontribs) 22:28, 10 September 2012

I have a friend from Lancashire, and he salutes whenever he sees one.

Non-mammal mirror self-recognition test[edit]

"The magpie is thus one of a small number of species, and the only non-mammal, known to possess this capability." That is false, the ability was long ago demonstrated in some octopuses and other non-mammals too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by LaurV (talkcontribs) 05:44, 15 October 2012


There's another article One_for_Sorrow_(nursery_rhyme). Oddly, the section in this article seems more complete. Any ideas of what to do? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:19, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

Obviously the contents relating to the nursery rhyme from here must be pasted into the nursery rhyme article, and referred to from here. This article is about the animal, not the rhyme. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:47, 11 January 2013 (UTC)


Article claims magpie exclusively means Eurasian magpie in English. In Australia and New Zealand it generally exclusively means an Australian magpie. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:14, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Magpies and shiny objects[edit]

Whether or not this is a myth I don't know, but it seems to be a widespread enough belief to merit a mention in this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:28, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I can say that this is most definitely NOT a myth. I have seen magpies "stealing" all sorts of things in Montalcino, Italy. The birds there are accostumed to tourists so much that they approach them directly, probably to get food. They will instantly take away anything shiny. I have seen one trying to fly away with the steel watch offered by a bloke who was precisely testing if this belief was true. He got quite scared. Their attraction to shiny things was clear beyond doubt and I guess it must have been observed since antiquity, even with less bold birds. --Aelwyn (talk) 22:36, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
See Harrabin, Roger (16 August 2014). "Magpies 'don't steal shiny objects'". BBC News.  Keri (talk) 18:00, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Most inteligent animal[edit]

Stated in the begining of the article is: "...and it is believed to be one of the most intelligent of all animals.[2]" This is clearly wrong, even if they passed the mirror test. Right? OolaEei (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:50, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

The section on Eurasian Magpie#Intelligence does expand on this. Whether they are brighter than New Caledonian Crow is debatable. Is not "one of the most intelligent" justified? Chuunen Baka (talkcontribs) 10:11, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Concerning folklore - German story - Deutsche Geschichte[edit]

There is a German folk tale (or it could have been Hauff's maerchen or another writer's) concerning three mean sisters who turned away a beggar who changed them into birds including a magpie (eggshells stuck to her because she was the least offensive) any help from anyone??? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:38, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

I've heard of this folktale too but I don't know from where. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:42, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Magpie juvenile singing[edit]

Hi, I just added some songs of a magpie i am raising (which fell of a tree in Athens).Enfwm (talk) 14:03, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

16 more songs added today - Enfwm (talk) 12:41, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Egg colour incorrect for Magpie[edit]

Hello, I live with an imprinted Eurasian Magpie, and I can confirm that the photo used to illustrate eggs in this article is wrong.

The eggs of the Pica Pica are blue, with specks of brown. I'll attach a photograph I took myself from her nest.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Bowdie (talkcontribs) 11:55, 19 December 2015 (UTC)

 Done Keri (talk) 12:15, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Brings bad luck in the UK[edit]

‘Morning Mr Magpie’. Often said by people in the UK to counteract the bad luck brought by the sighting of a single magpie. Marcin862 (talk) 07:12, 28 May 2016 (UTC)


The article states that the "pie" comes from a word meaning pointed, but I'm sure this isn't the case. "Pie" is the root of "piebald", the black and white colouring of horses like gypsy cobs. Surely "pie" in magpie refers to their black and white colouring, not any of this "pointed" nonsense? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:37, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

Pied piper also?14:22, 11 June 2016 (UTC) (talk) 14:22, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
I think this is a case of "depends which book you read". The comment about pointy is fully supported by the RS. However, many other dictionaries indicate "pied" relates to the black and white colour. Furthermore, if you look at any of our articles on animals with "pied" in the name, they are almost invariably black and white. This makes me wonder a little bit why it wasn't named the "pied mag" but overall, we probably need to include both potential meanings for complete coverage. DrChrissy (talk) 15:02, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
DrChrissy, according to the OED, "pied" comes from the bird and basically means birds that look like the "pie" in that they are black and white. The bird name pre-dates the adjective by a few hundred years. I've added this with the OED ref Jimfbleak - talk to me? 15:31, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
Great research - Well done. Can your edit be extrapolated to "pied" animals other than birds? My favourite so far is the Pied bat - what a cutey! DrChrissy (talk) 15:39, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
DrChrissy, in practice, it surely is extrapolated, but the OED says birds, and the quotes all mention birds, so I've stuck to that. I like your bat. You're English, so you ought to be able to access the OED if you haven't already signed on through a library card, cheers Jimfbleak - talk to me? 18:09, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for that - I had not even realised it was possible to use my library card for that purpose. I certainly learn something every day from this site. DrChrissy (talk) 18:11, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Inconsistent citation style[edit]

This article seems to have an inconsistent citation style. Most citations use citation templates, but some citations do not use citation templates. Gulumeemee (talk) 23:50, 28 September 2016 (UTC)

Gulumeemee having citations is more important than how they are formatted, although a consistent style is clearly desirable. In practice, few people are likely to do more than run the refill tool to fix bare urls unless they are trying to get the article to Good Article or Featured Article status, when consistent formatting is mandatory. Jimfbleak (talk) 06:44, 29 September 2016 (UTC)