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Eurasian Magpie/Snag breac (Pica p. pica) | by Mark Carmody
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Eurasian Magpie/Snag breac (Pica p. pica)

Shorebirds of Ireland, Freshwater Birds of Ireland and The Birds of Ireland: A Field Guide with Jim Wilson.

www.markcarmodyphotography.com

 

The Eurasian Magpie or common magpie (Pica pica) is a resident breeding bird throughout Europe, much of Asia and northwest Africa. It is one of several birds in the crow family designated magpies, and belongs to the Holarctic radiation of "monochrome" magpies. In Europe, "magpie" is used by English speakers as a synonym for the European magpie: the only other magpie in Europe is the Iberian magpie (Cyanopica cooki), which is limited to the Iberian peninsula.

 

The Eurasian magpie is one of the most intelligent birds, and it is believed to be one of the most intelligent of all animals. The expansion of its nidopallium is approximately the same in its relative size as the brain of chimpanzees, orangutans and humans.

 

The gradual clinal variation over the large geographic range and the intergradation of the different races means that the geographical limits and acceptance of the various subspecies varies between authorities. The International Ornithological Congress recognise ten subspecies.

 

The range of the magpie extends across temperate Eurasia from Spain and Ireland in the west to the Kamchatka Peninsula and Taiwan in the east. There are also populations in northwest Africa and on Mediterranean islands. The species has been introduced in Japan on the island of Kyushu.The Eurasian magpie has an extremely large range. The European population is estimated to be between 7.5 and 19 million breeding pairs. Allowing for the birds breeding in other continents, the total population is estimated to be between 46 and 228 million individuals. The population trend in Europe has been stable since 1980. There is no evidence of any serious overall decline in numbers, so the species is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as being of Least Concern. (wikipedia)

 

Taken near one of the ponds in Corkagh Park, Dublin, Ireland.

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Taken on January 3, 2021