Magpie – intelligent bird
Magpies are intelligent, noisy birds. They belong to songbirds. Magpies are in the same scientific family as crows, ravens, and jays. Magpies live in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America.
There are several different species of magpie. Common types include the Eurasian magpie and the black-billed magpie.
Eurasian and black-billed magpies are about 46 centimeters long. The tail is longer than the body. They are mostly black except for their white bellies and white patches on their wings. Magpies in Asia have bright blue or green feathers.
They are omnivorous and eat insects, dead animals, fruit, seeds, and even the eggs and chicks of other birds.
Magpies do not like dense forests, and settle closer to the people. These birds build nests in tall trees. They can build a dozen nests, then to choose the best one. A female usually lays 7-8 eggs and incubates them for 18 days.
Magpies are collected in groups for protection against large predators and hunt other birds.
Magpies are one of the most intelligent birds in nature. They hide objects and then remember where to find them again. They are also the only birds who recognize themselves in a mirror. Parrots, for example, think they see other individuals.
Magpies are very fond of shiny objects.
People often keep these birds as pets. These birds live up to 12-15 years, but in exceptional cases they may live twice longer.
The Chinese believe that magpie is a bird of happiness that brings people good luck. In Russian folklore it is associated with chatty women. Some people think they bring bad luck.
In the XIV century Metropolitan Alexey officially banned magpies to come to Moscow – he believed that they were witches.