The Black-Billed Magpie (Pica pica), so striking in appearence, always provokes some kind of comment. I find it hard to believe that this is a song-bird but it is in the group. Boldly marked in black and white, its plumage glimmers with blue, green, and purple in the strong light. Magpies are somewhat wary of humans but frequently live close to people in urban and suburban areas, exploiting trash and other available food. Magpies prefer open country with trees for nesting. Their large, domed stick nests are easily seen in trees, especially in the winter.
I once had a magpie try building its nest above the barn door on a very narrow inside ledge. There was an accumulation of mud and sticks on the ground at the opening. After much effort the magpie decided his efforts were futile. Magpies live throughout the state year-round.
Olympus E-520 Zuiko Lens 70 – 300MM
Featured in ‘The World As We See It , or as we missed it.’ – March 2010