Magpies (IPA: /ˈmæɡˌpaɪ/, SAMPA: /"m{g%paI/) are passerine birds of the crow family, Corvidae. The names 'jay' and 'magpie' are to a certain extent interchangeable, although this does not accurately reflect the evolutionary relationship between these birds. For example, the Eurasian Magpie seems more closely related to the Eurasian jay than to the Oriental Blue and Green Magpies, whereas the Blur jay is not as closely related to either within the Corvid family.[citation needed]

In Europe, "magpie" is often used by Englsih speakers as a synonym for the European Magpie, as there are no other magpies in Europe outside Iberia. That bird was referred to as a "pie" until the late 16th century when the feminine name "Mag" was added to the beginning.

They are opportunistic scavengers and will eat anything once they have discovered it is edible. They are known to attack the nests of other birds and eat their fledglings.

The European Magpie is the only non-mammal known to be able to recognise itself in a mirror.


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