Magpies in Ireland
magpie is one of Ireland's most recognisable birds. With distinctive
black & white plumage and raucous nature magpies cannot be confused
with any other Irish bird.
magpie is Ireland's best known member of the crow family. Although
the plumage looks black and white in actual fact the black
feathers are purple-blue iridescent sheen on the wing feathers,
and there is a green gloss to the tail.
use their long black legs to walk and quite often to hop along the
Name for Magpie
Irish word for magpie is Snag breac.
other members of the crow family magpies are extremely adaptable
when it comes to diet. They are opportunists that will scavenge
on road-kill, other carrion, and domestic waste. They will take
eggs and young of other birds as well as small mammals if they can
catch them. Despite widely beliefs that magpies are extensive raiders
of other bird species nests it far more likely that domestic cats
do far more damage to song bird populations.
are particularly partial to beetles and other invertebrate, as well
as fruit, berries and seeds when in season.
other members of the crow family Magpies are solitary nesters. Nests
can be quite large constructions high in a tree. They are made of
twigs and small branches, and may be lined with hair and/or wool.
Usually nesting pairs construct a new nest each year although it
is not unusual for a pair to reuse last year's nest. Other bird
species such as kestrels have been known to use abandoned magpie
lay about a half dozen bluish-green eggs that take about three weeks
to hatch out. Young magpie chicks fledge within four weeks or so.
Facts About Magpies
is believed that magpies were first recorded in Wexford in 1676
when up to a dozen flew across the Irish sea from Britain. Breeding
in Dublin was first noted in 1852.
the average lifespan of magpies is five years, the longest lived
specimen was 21 years, 8 months, and 23 days old when it died in
Magpie in Flight
45cm Wingspan: 58cm Weight:
M & F: 240g
Harsh & Raucous. Not melodic.
Woodland, scrubland, urban areas.
Omnivorous. Invertebrate, carrion, birds eggs, young birds
& mammals, domestic food waste, fruit, seeds.
April & May
From 2 years
Number of Eggs:
No. of Clutches:
Status in Ireland: Green
Range in Ireland
magpie is resident throughout Ireland.