It is a distinct bird species with a strikingly long tail and typical black-and-white coloring. Its distinctive black colored wings and tail have a green-blue metallic sheen, which changes in sunlight.
The magpie is found throughout Slovakia, from the lowlands to higher elevations. It enjoys open landscapes with meadows, pastures, and groves, but also parks, orchards, and gardens. Males and female magpies are indistinguishable.
The magpie is one of the passerine species but its typical shriek is far from the sound of beautiful singers, such as the thrush or the nightingale. Its call sounds like chatter – “chak-chak-chak-chak”. We could imitate the sound of the magpie by shaking a (not completely full) match box.
On the other hand, the magpie belongs to the crow family and has incredible intelligence, being able to quickly learn and imitate different sounds. It is a very shy and vigilant bird but, at the same time, curious and sometimes even “cheeky”.
Additionally, since ancient times, people have considered it a cunning “thief” which steals everything that shines. Among hunters, it has a reputation of a nest “destroyer”. It is, perhaps, associated with the fact that it feeds on the eggs and young of other birds. On the other hand, it feeds on harmful insects, mollusks, rodents, various seeds and fruits, carcass and even waste. So, its position in nature has meaning and purpose – to help maintain balance.
Do you know?
The crow's nest is a work of art. It is located high in the crowns of trees and bushes. It is made of branches reinforced with mud, lined with roots, grass and even animal hair. It is often decorated with a canopy of thorny branches, which makes the magpie unique in this respect. (Nest drawing by T. Kizek).