A magpie on the ground


Magpies are jacks of all trades: scavengers, predators and cheeky thieves. They famously cannot resist a bit of bling, and regularly take brightly coloured objects from the garden, which makes them unpopular.

Occurring throughout Europe and as far south as the Mediterranean, they are sociable birds that roost together and, in spring, gather in ‘magpie parliaments’ where unpaired birds look for mates. There are many folk stories involving magpies, and they were once thought to be in league with the devil.

All you need to know about British birds.

Scientific name: Pica pica

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Common magpie,
  • European magpie

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Map showing the distribution of the Magpie taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Magpie can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Magpie distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Magpie

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