Friday, April 17, 2009

Birdie Blue Friday - Magpie

Birdie Blue Friday

I had planned on writing about Mockingbirds because they add so much to my life, but this morning while feeding the chickens I was distracted from my chore by a raucous happening overhead. The loud clammer got the attention of my geese as well and the three of us stood there looking upward with our head tilted to try to find the source.
Darting swiftly through the branches above our heads was a Magpie with a Crow close behind. It was one of the Crows that I wrote about earlier that was nesting close by.
This was a dichotomy to me as I see this same scene played out all throughout the mating season, but this is the first time with these two species.
For the most part it is Mockingbirds chasing Crows, although occasionally I will see Crows chasing Hawks, but this was the first time I have observed a Crow chase a Magpie. Two corvids, but it makes sense as both species rob the nests of other birds. The upshot is that I chose the Magpie.
Although the Yellow-billed Magpie is common and conspicuous in the open oak woodlands of central and southern California, it is found nowhere else in the world.

Oak savanna, open areas with large trees, and along streams. Also forages in grassland, pasture, fields, and orchards.

Magpies are omnivores, an animal that eats either other animals or plants.
They feed on ground-dwelling invertebrates, grain, acorns, carrion, and small mammals.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size - 4–7 eggs
Egg Description -Greenish blue or olive with dark spots and speckles.
Condition at Hatching -Naked and helpless.

Hear their songs:

Cool Facts

  • The Yellow-billed Magpie is omnivorous, eating a variety of plant and animal foods. Insects, however, make up most of the diet. The Yellow-billed Magpie has been seen pecking insects off the backs of mule deer.
  • The covered nest requires maintenance to the canopy throughout the nesting season. The Yellow-billed Magpie usually builds a new nest each year, but if a nest fails early in the breeding season the pair will refurbish an old nest for a renesting attempt rather than build a new one.
It has been an interesting bird to learn about.
Spring break is almost over and next week we will try to wind up our astronomy lessons.

Hope you had a cool Blue Birdie Friday

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