Big Garden Birdwatch – Magpies

With its noisy chattering, black-and-white plumage and long tail, there is nothing else quite like the magpie in the UK. When seen close-up its black plumage takes on an altogether more colourful hue with a purplish-blue iridescent sheen to the wing feathers and a green gloss to the tail.

Here you can hear a Magpie chattering with a scared Blackbird in the background making it’s alarm call.

Magpies seem to be jacks of all trades – scavengers, predators and pest-destroyers, their challenging, almost arrogant attitude has won them few friends.

You can see lots of Magpies around Leeds. They make a lot of noise and are omnivores and scavengers.

  • What is an omnivore?
  • What is a scavenger?
  • What is a predator?
  • What does iridescent mean?
  • What is a “jack of all trades”?

There are lots of superstitions about magpies – see if you can find out more.

“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”

Well-known rhyme about Magpies

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