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WikiProject Birds (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
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Early comments[edit]

I have learned about this bird.[: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:11, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

In Edmonton, is the magpie a pest bird/legal to hunt freely? 22:08, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Where does the magpie live?

Regional Bias[edit]

This page contains a distinct regional bias. The term Magpie will usually refer to an Australian Magpie, when in Australia. This page appears to refer exclusively to Magpies of the genus Pica, and even more particularly to the European Magpie.

I would like to propose that this entry is moved. Clearly, there are challenges in classifying the Holarctic Magpies, as there are separate entries for each Genus, but this entry is too narrow to encompass the term Magpie.

Alternatively, this page could encompass all Magpies, with references to the page for each Family and/or Genus. I personally think this would be a more user-friendly experience.

What do people think?

--Matthias.b.1971 (talk) 23:07, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Article scope now clarified to cover all magpies. See 'Clarifying scope of article' below. PeterEastern (talk) 09:01, 7 January 2013 (UTC)


I'd like to know why the magpie has such a distinct poo colour/pattern. Every other bird I've seen is camouflaged in one way or another, but I can't find any image of a magpie in an environment that let it blend in. Pipatron (talk) 10:53, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Magpies in Popular Culture?[edit]

Shouldn't the magpie poem and it's speculation be entered?

The poem-

Magpie Poem
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.

(The version I know is: One for Sorrow Two for Joy Three for a Girl Four for a Boy Five for Silver Six for Gold Seven for a Secret, never to be told Eight for a Wish Nine for a Kiss Ten's the bird you should not miss.

Apparently, if you see more than 10, the secondary number is greatly more if you see 14 magpies, a BOY you will shortly see has great significance to your life at the time!)

-As folklore it should be added, the more common of these has been entered. This of course not the place for speculation, though.

Paul W —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:24, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

That should defintly be worked in somewhere other than the talk. Also I just went to all the Corvidae family articles, and aside from crows (murder of) they are all missing info on the name for what a group is called. If someone wants to work that in, its a tiding of magpies. Highlandlord 03:12, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Seems relevant enough to me. Maybe a whole "Magpies in Popular Culture" section might be warranted, and could include that poem. There must be lots of magpie references. Off the top of my head I can think of Infocom's Trinity and Roger Waters's "What God Wants Part III" from Amused to Death . . . I'm not a big pop-culture guy. -- 04:58, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

The magpie poem refers to European Magpie, certainly not all 13 species, similarly the group names. I thing it would need sourcing if it is suggested that all magpies or crows are known by the names made up usually for one European species in each case. These supposed group names are actually literary conceits with no real currency. Magpies and crow occur in flocks., 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I'd suggest adding a link to this One_for_Sorrow_(nursery_rhyme), also check out augury, if you're wondering why they have collective noun 'tiding'

What about the fact that the football club Newcastle United are called "The Magpies"? dllu (talk) 06:29, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Elevation at which magpies live[edit]

Maybe someone could add a reference to which the elevations at which magpies live? I know here in New Mexico, magpies only live in the mountainous areas above 7500 feet (or so).

There are 13 species of magpie, so likely to vary. Yours is the Black-billed Magpie, I'll post a height range if I find one on that page. jimfbleak 05:24, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Magpies as symbols of luck in Chinese Culture[edit]

This statement that "In general, the magpie is a symbol of happiness in Chinese culture" is linked to a page the broad overview of Chinese culture that makes no references to Magpies or symbols of happiness. Needs a better link. Dr algorythm 11:11, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Magpie Keepers?, cmbp[edit]

In researching the history of my family, I found that my family members who came to the United States were originally from Department of Loire' Atlantique, France.

My french name origin is described as "Keepers of the Magpies."

In pre-revolution France, could royalty, piety, or deity have had reason to "Keep" magpies?

cmbp, October 13, 2006

Image of Australian Magpie[edit]

The bird in the image above the taxobox is in fact a Currawong, not a Magpie. (talk) 04:45, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Tail length[edit]

What is the explanation for the length of the magpie's tail. It must be an adaptation to something, but to what? Since both sexes have the same tail length it cannot be sexual selection. (talk) 14:17, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Entirely speculative (this IS the talk page...), but possibly simply to predation - i.e. if a fox or cat grabs a magpie's tail, the magpie may just lose a few tail feathers and escape, if there's lots of lightweight tail, the predator is more likely to get a mouthful/pawful of tail rather than anything important.

Self Awareness[edit]

Recent experiments involving mirrors have demonstrated that certain magpies can indeed recognise their own reflection. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:49, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

This is already included in the article - footnote#2 Bob98133 (talk) 13:52, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Does anyone know how to tell male and female apart?[edit]

Does anyone know how to tell male and female apart? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:42, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

-With reference to the above query I would just like to add Bwahhhahahahahahaaaa ha

Magpie - question[edit]

So, I have always been under the impression that the Magpie is a noisy bird but I am not finding that in my research. Does anyone know if this is true? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Both European and Australian magpies are quite "noisy", thought the australian magpie has a melodious song, whereas the european magpie has a bizarre machinegun chatter as its primary call (though it can be trained to speak much like a parrot/crow/starling). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:59, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

European Magpie irritating a cat in Ireland, including distinctive "chatter" sound: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:04, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Australian "magpie" (from Currawong family), singing: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:16, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Why do magpies have a negative image? This is medieval... What could be done to positively influence their image? HSWMak (talk) 23:48, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Magpies just in Iberia?[edit]

I know there is a bird called 'cotofana' in Romania, also renowed as a smart bird and very similar looking as the magpie, and I don't believe there is nothing in between Romania and the Iberic peninsula. (talk) 20:57, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Interlingual discrepancies[edit]

Should interwiki links to articles on pica pica be removed? k kisses 18:32, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes. Those should be linked to Eurasian Magpie instead. MeegsC | Talk 18:43, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Clarifying scope of article[edit]

I have now adjusted the article to clarify that it is about all types of Magpie, not primarily the Euroasian one. In particular, I have added text to the lead linking to the particular types of Magpie found in different places and adjusted the banner. PeterEastern (talk) 08:44, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

The name[edit]

Added this short section. Something I heard on a radio program. Sorry, no reference but AGF please my fellow editors. SmokeyTheCat 10:56, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Even assuming good faith, I don't believe this applies to all or even most of the listed species in the article. It's not appropriate anyway, it's highly speculative and "something I heard on the radio" gives no reason to believe this supposed etymology is true. It's also contradicted by the OED which says that it's a diminutive of Margery or Margaret plus "pie" which refers to the plumage of the Eurasian species Jimfbleak - talk to me? 07:38, 27 November 2014 (UTC)