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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
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.