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Magpies are the most easily recognised members of the crow family, with their distinctive black and white plumage and long tail.  In fact, 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. Non-breeding birds will gather together in flocks.


Where to see it:

They are found in many habitats - woodland, farmland, moorland, parks and gardens - though they prefer grassland with thick hedges or scattered trees. They have adapted well to urban and suburban environments and can be seen right into the centres of cities.

Found across England, Wales and N Ireland, but more localised in Scotland, absent from the Highlands. Seen in a range of habitats from lowland farmland to upland moors.

The magpie is omniverous and a scavenger by nature. Its call is a harsh 'chack'

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