Smile! The world is a beautiful place (^_^)

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A Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) sitting on a waste basket. Isn’t he beautiful! Look at those coloured feathers and intelligent eyes.

Magpies are often maligned as pests, but they’re actually very interesting birds that are usually overlooked for both their beauty and their intelligence. They are closely related to crows, jays, and ravens; thus among the most intelligent family of birds (Corvidae). And after studying them, I’m convinced that magpies have a great sense of humour too! 🙂

Because magpies are often misunderstood, here are 3 interesting facts about them:

(i) Magpies don’t steal shiny objects. This has been established in several experiments, for example research published by Science Focus and the BBC.

(ii) Magpies recognize themselves in mirrors. European magpies have demonstrated the remarkable ability to recognize their own reflections in mirrors, something that was once thought to be a defining characteristic belonging only to humans. This might not sound that amazing, but out of countless species tested, only four ape species, bottlenose dolphins and Asian elephants have demonstrated this ability.

(iii) A group of magpies is called “a parliament”. They earned this title from often appearing in large groups, looking stately and cawing at each other.

And a little flower…

12 responses

  1. Lovely – and thanks for the Magpie facts. I agree – these are lovely birds. Thank you for the opportunity of getting up close.
    🙂 ps And the flower, of course.

    November 5, 2017 at 4:58 PM

    • Thanks John! Magpies are so common we sometimes forget how beautiful they actually are. And smart and funny too! 🙂

      November 5, 2017 at 6:33 PM

  2. Best review of a magpie I’ve read yet. You have a well educated viewpoint so I’ll give them another chance. My magpie experience has been tainted for years by the horrifying sound of their young at 4:30 am. They also have remarkable lungs! But they are indeed beautiful and I’m sure play an important part in the food chain. And I loved the little flower throw-in😊

    November 5, 2017 at 8:24 PM

    • Thanks so much, Tony! 🙂 I have a pair if magpies in my back garden, they can indeed be noisy but nothing compared to the rose-ringed parakeets.. Together with all the other birds, it’s sometimes like a lively zoo here!

      November 5, 2017 at 8:38 PM

  3. Magpies are beautiful, Calee! Birds are way more intelligent than most people realize! 🙂

    November 5, 2017 at 9:29 PM

    • Yes, they’re very beautiful! 🙂 And some birds are really intelligent, and they all play an important role in our ecosystem!

      November 5, 2017 at 9:43 PM

  4. I love Magpies – we don’t have them here, but just drive east about two hours over the mountains and there they are. I haven’t spent enough time over there to really get to know them but they are such attractive birds. Thanks for the facts, too – what an interesting array of species that is, that can recognize themselves in a mirror.

    November 6, 2017 at 5:00 PM

    • They’re quite impressive! And they don’t deserve their bad reputation which is nothing more than old superstition. Beautiful and funny birds! 🙂

      November 6, 2017 at 6:18 PM

  5. Some very interesting facts about magpies Camilla. I knew they were intelligent birds but didn’t know about the mirror thing. I love your flower photograph. 🙂

    November 7, 2017 at 11:15 AM

    • Thanks so much, Adrian! 🙂 I’m a bit surprised not more animals recognized themselves in the mirror, but not so surprised that magpies can do it!

      November 7, 2017 at 11:45 AM

  6. Great photos and magpie facts, Camilla! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

    November 11, 2017 at 3:10 PM

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