Pica pica (Linnaeus, 1758) sec. Corvids of the World

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Pica pica (Linnaeus, 1758) sec. Corvids of the World

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Editorial Status

Ongoing collection of data, unrevised text, last update: 2016-12-18.

Common Name

English: Magpie; Estonian: harakas; German: Elster; Polish: Sroka

Mythology

China: Natives consider the bird lucky and do not molest it, in consequence of which it builds its nests in most exposed and often easily accessible sites.A

Distribution

Africa Northern Africa (Algeria (Algeria nativeB), Morocco (Morocco nativeB), Western Sahara (Western Sahara nativeB)); West Tropical Africa (Mauritania (Mauritania nativeB)), Asia-Temperate Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia nativeB)); Caucasus nativeB; China (China North-Central nativeB, China South-Central nativeB, China Southeast nativeB, Inner Mongolia nativeB, Manchuria nativeB, Qinghai (Qinghai nativeB), Tibet (Tibet nativeB), Xinjiang (Xinjiang nativeB)); Eastern Asia (Japan (Kyushu nativeintroduced: naturalizedB,C,1), Korea nativeB, Taiwan (Taiwan nativeB)); Middle Asia nativeB; Mongolia (Mongolia (Mongolia nativeB)); Russian Far East (Amur (Amur nativeB), Kamchatka (Kamchatka nativeB), Khabarovsk (Khabarovsk nativeB), Magadan (Magadan nativeB), Primorye (Primorye nativeB)); Siberia (Altay (Altay nativeB), Buryatiya (Buryatiya nativeB), Irkutsk (Irkutsk nativeB), Krasnoyarsk (Krasnoyarsk nativeB), Tuva (Tuva nativeB), West Siberia nativeB); Western Asia (Afghanistan (Afghanistan nativeB), Iran (Iran nativeB), Iraq (Iraq nativeB), Turkey (Turkey nativeB)), Asia-Tropical Indian Subcontinent (East Himalaya (Bhutan nativeB), India (Andhra Pradesh nativeB), Pakistan (Pakistan nativeB), West Himalaya (Jammu-Kashmir nativeB)); Indo-China (Myanmar (Myanmar nativeB)), Europe Eastern Europe (Baltic States nativeB, East European Russia (East European Russia nativeB), North European Russia (North European Russia nativeB)); Middle Europe nativeB; Northern Europe nativeB; Southeastern Europe nativeB; Southwestern Europe (France (France nativeB), Portugal (Portugal nativeB), Spain (Spain nativeB))
1. thought to have been introduced into northern Kyushu, Japan, from Korea during the 16th century

Biology And Ecology

Early breeder and may be seen carrying sticks at the end of December; but eggs also found as late as April 2nd; some found in May were probably of a second laying.A In the autumn these birds form quite large flocks, and as many as sixty have been seen going to roost in a pine-wood at Samshui, and on one occasion forty-seven were put up out of a sweet-potato field.
At the end of December the flocks break up, and some pairs of birds begin to prepare for nesting before the new year; but, although they commence breaking off twigs early in January, they do not, as a rule, complete their nests until well on in February.
In some years, as late as the middle of March, about seventy-five per cent of the nests examined contain no eggs, whereas in others the end of February sees most of them with full clutches. Fesh eggs were found, however, from February 5th to May 6th; and of thirty-one nests, three had eight eggs, seven had seven, seventeen had six, and four had five - six therefore is the usual clutch.D

Nest

They nest usually in a trall tree, but their great dome of sticks has been seen on the top of literary posts (which are erected in honour of scholars), once on the top of a pagoda, and three times in bamboos. One nest was seen which was only seven feet from the ground; this is most unusual in China.
The nest has the same sort of dome as in Europe, but, as thorns are less abundant, the usual prickly zareba does not occure to such a painful extent in Far Cathay as in the West. The nest of this bird seen in Europe is, as a rule, lined with roots inside of a mud coat, but in China, grass, hair, feathers, paper, wool, and indeed, any suiotable rubbish is employed.E

Egg

Forty-six eggs average 1,37x0,98 in: the largest 1,49x1,02, the smallest 1,2x0,96.A

Brood parasite

2. Finland, Netherlands

Ectoparasite

Philopterus picae (Denny, 1842)K

Bibliography

A. La Touche, J.D.D. & Rickett, C.B. 1905: Further notes on the nesting of birds in the province of Fohkien, S.E. China. – The Ibis 8 (5): 25-67: 26 [2948]
B. 2003: The Howard and Moore complete checklist of the birds of the world. 3rd Edition: 504-515
C. Eguchi, K. 2016: The Eurasian Magpie. [カササギ.]. – Japanese journal of ornithology 61 (1):: 5-30.: 5 [8931]
D. Vaughan, R.E. & Jones, K.H. 1913: The birds of Hong Kong, Macao, and the West River or Si Kiang in South-East China, with special reference to their nidification and seasonal movements. – The Ibis 10 (1): 17-76: 26-27 [2950]
E. Vaughan, R.E. & Jones, K.H. 1913: The birds of Hong Kong, Macao, and the West River or Si Kiang in South-East China, with special reference to their nidification and seasonal movements. – The Ibis 10 (1): 17-76: 26 [2950]
F. 1993: Handbuch der Vögel Mitteleuropas13/3 [6]
G. Makatsch, W. 1955: Brood parasitism in birds. [Der Brutparasitismus in der Vogelwelt.]: 151 [8672]
H. Soler, M. & De Neve, L. 2013: Brood mate eviction or brood mate acceptance by brood parasitic nestlings? An experimental study with the non-evictor great spotted cuckoo and its magpie host. – Behaviour ecology and sociobiology 67 (4): 601-607 [6624]
I. Makatsch, W. 1955: Brood parasitism in birds. [Der Brutparasitismus in der Vogelwelt.]: 139, 143 [8672]
J. Makatsch, W. 1955: Brood parasitism in birds. [Der Brutparasitismus in der Vogelwelt.]: 192 [8672]
K. Price & Hellenthal: Taxonomy of Philopterus (Phthiraptera: Philopteridae) from the Corvidae (Passeriformes), with descriptions of nine new species. – Annals of the Entomological Society of America 91 (6): 782-799: 786, 794 [78]