Magpie, a bird of the crow family. It is about 20 inches (50 cm) in length, including its long, wedge-shaped tail. The magpie is glossy black, except for white wing patches and breast. Its heavy bill is well adapted for eating insects and grain. The bird also feeds on fruit, rodents, and the eggs and young of other birds.
The female magpie lays 7 to 10 spotted, greenish-gray eggs in a covered grass-and-mud nest built in a bush or tree. Like the crows, magpies are noisy and thievish. They can often be taught to imitate human speech.
The black-billed magpie of the North American Great Plains is closely related to the European and Asiatic species. The yellow-billed magpie lives only in California.
The Old World magpie is Pica pica pica; black-billed, Pica hudsonia; yellow-billed, P. nuttalli. Magpies belong to the family Corvidae.The magpie is glossy black with white wing patches and breast.