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22 Amazing Facts About Magpies You Probably Didn’t Know

Magpies are birds to which popular rumor ascribes a passion for petty theft and idle talk. A similar reputation with these birds did not arise out of the blue – magpies are really greedy for various shiny things that they indiscriminately drag their nest to. In addition, they are very sociable, and they quite like to announce their surroundings with a loud croaking, sitting on a branch. Because of this croaking and general similarity, magpies are sometimes confused with crows.

  • Magpies are one of the most intelligent birds in nature. They have complex social rituals that, in particular, serve to express sadness. Magpies are also the only birds (and not mammals at all) that recognize themselves in a mirror – parrots, for example, consider their reflection to be another individual
  • Magpies do not like dense forests, and willingly settle closer to people.
  • Magpies are omnivorous – they can be both plant and animal food (insects, small mammals, or lizards). Sometimes these birds steal bones from dogs, and eggs and chicks from the nests of other birds.
  • The Chinese consider the magpie to be a bird of happiness, bringing good luck to people. In Russian folklore, forty is more likely associated with the image of gossips and just talkative women.
  • The nest of magpies is in the shape of a ball with a small hole that serves as an entrance.
  • To protect their offspring, magpies prefer to spend the night in large flocks.
  • Magpies are very fond of shiny objects. Birds decorate their nests with these trinkets to please themselves and attract a potential mate.
  • These birds bury surplus food in the ground, and then they find these caches without any problems. A rare case of thoughtful thriftiness – squirrels, for example, usually can’t find some of their many caches of supplies.
  • Magpies collect ticks from the skins of large animals, sitting on their backs. Birds can also pull out already ingrained parasites.
  • Chicks leave their native nest when they are only 1 month old.
  • Magpies are not migratory birds, but they are distributed almost all over the world.
  • Before getting offspring, a magpie can build a dozen nests, so that later they can choose one of them, the best. Extra nests will distract the attention of predators.
  • Magpies lay 7-8 eggs at a time, which the female incubates for 18 days.
  • Magpies begin to lay eggs earlier than other birds – in April and early May, sometimes even in March.
  • Magpies can recognize a specific person not by smell or voice, but by their face. Usually, only domesticated, tamed animals have this ability.
  • The chirping of the magpie is very sharp and loud, so people are usually not too happy about being around a flock of these birds.
  • Magpies can be taught to count and clean their cells with the help of available tools.
  • Magpies form groups to protect themselves from large predators and to hunt other birds.
  • The region of the brain of forty, which is responsible for cognition, has the same relative size as the analogous part of the human brain.
  • The ratio of body weight to the brain in magpies is the same as in orangutans, chimpanzees, and gorillas.
  • The entrance to the nest of magpies is always facing south so that the dwelling is warmer.
  • The life span of a magpie, as a rule, is 12-15 years, but in exceptional cases, they can live twice as long.

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