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Magpie facts for kids

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European magpie
Scientific classification

The magpie is a large bird in the crow family, Corvidae. It is a general scavenger and predator of insects, small mammals, and other birds' eggs and young.

The word "magpie" usually means the European magpie (Pica pica), which is a very common bird. There are other magpies in Europe, in Spain and Portugal. Elsewhere, there are other species of magpie. Some are black and white and are in the genus Pica. Some are green and blue and are also known as "oriental" magpies (Genus Urocissa and Cissa). There is also one species of blue and white magpie, the azure-winged magpie Cyanopica cyana.

There are also two other species of bird that are called 'magpie', though they are not true magpies. There is the black magpie, which is really a treepie. There is also the Australian magpie. It is not a member of the crow family at all. It is in the Artamidae family.


Magpies are large birds. They often have long tails. They also walk or hop along the ground.

Magpies eat lots of different kinds of food. They will eat meat such as baby birds, eggs and carrion (dead animals). They will also eat seeds and other parts of plants.

Magpies are clever birds. They can pass the mirror test. This is when the bird can see itself in a mirror and understand that it is a reflection. Magpies also like bright, shiny things, such as aluminium.


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Magpie Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.