Black-billed Magpie by Eric Glaser

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Corvidae – Black-billed Magpie – Pica hudsonia

This beautiful, very sociable black-billed magpie stopped by for a visit one day while I was hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. But I can assure you it was not because of my good looks. With their long black tails and elegant black and white attire, there’s no mistaking these guys! Some people find their chattering and cheeky behavior annoying, but I think they’re endlessly entertaining.

I love the iridescent blue-green accents on the wings and tail, and the way they bounce around on the ground and squawk, searching for food. While I wish I had included more of the feet in the photo, it’s otherwise a serviceable portrait of a gal (or guy: except for the male being bigger, this species is monomorphic) who clearly is ready for a night on the town.

Black-billed magpies range in the north from Alaska, central western British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and southern Manitoba, through the Rocky Mountains down south to all the Rocky Mountain states including New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and some bordering states as well. The range extends as far east as Minnesota and Iowa. It frequents open country with thickets and scattered trees, especially riparian groves, but can be found within cities as well (from Wikipedia).

Rocky Mountain National Park
Colorado
United States

The photo was made using a Canon EOS-1V film body, a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L zoom lens, and Fujicolor Pro 160S color negative film.

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Comments

  • Dave & Trena Puckett
    Dave & Trena P...about 4 years ago

    beautifully captured!!! amazing detail, clarity, and D0F! such a great shot!

  • Thanks, guys, I appreciate that!

    – Eric Glaser

  • TeresaB
    TeresaBover 3 years ago

    February 2, 2011

  • Thanks so much, Teresa, it’s an honor to be included!

    – Eric Glaser

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELover 3 years ago

    Congratulations on your wonderful feature, great WORK and well earned.

  • Thanks for the lovely comment, Andrea!

    – Eric Glaser

  • Tim Scullion
    Tim Scullionover 3 years ago

    Great capture! So we have flying penguins . . .

  • Ha! They’re really something, aren’t they? They are fun to watch, and very beautiful. Thanks for stopping, Tim, and great work yourself!

    – Eric Glaser

  • dedmanshootn
    dedmanshootnover 3 years ago

    fine shot. congrats on the feature. these always bring a smile to me from a family in joke. my cousin and i were learning to i.d. cows from our grampa when we were around four. we got home and just before dinner my cousin came racing inside hollering “grampa, dad! come quick! there’s a holstien bird outside!”

  • Ha! Great story—thanks! The markings are very much alike, aren’t they? I never thought of that. I don’t think we can get milk from this guy (or gal-in this species, except that the male is bigger, I’ve read they look the same). Except for the iridescent blue and green on these birds, they might otherwise be related! (Convincing a biologist of this is another story.) Your cousin was very perceptive!

    – Eric Glaser

  • Istvan froghunter
    Istvan froghunterover 3 years ago

    Excellent capture Eric!

  • Thanks so much, Istvan!

    – Eric Glaser

  • Vincent Frank
    Vincent Frankover 3 years ago

    Great capture! Great job.

  • Thanks for your support, Vince!

    – Eric Glaser

  • bubblehex08
    bubblehex08over 3 years ago

  • You’re welcome!

    – Eric Glaser

  • Rusty Katchmer
    Rusty Katchmerover 3 years ago

    Fabulous shot!!! love the irridescent colors that you’ve captured so well :-)

  • They’re great, aren’t they? Thanks so much, Rusty, for your lovely comment!

    – Eric Glaser

  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonover 3 years ago

  • Many thanks, Ann.

    – Eric Glaser

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