Wildlife in Italy: Magpie Pica pica

Wildlife in Italy: Magpie Pica pica

Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Birds
Order: Passeriformi
Family: Crows
Kind: Pica
Species: pica

The species is present throughout Europe, Asia and northern Africa. In Italy it is present everywhere, only missing in Sardinia and the island of Elba.


Magpie (photo www.cedarcreek.umn.edu)

Distinctive characters

The weight of the magpie is around 150-250 gr. The plumage in both sexes is black and white with a characteristic long and graduated tail with iridescent reflections. Belly, shoulders and tip of white remiges; the robust beak is black.


As with all representatives of the Corvidae family, Gazza has a remarkable intelligence and is endowed with an innate exploratory instinct. During the international period it can form multi-family groups. Monogamous, it nests once a year on thorny trees or bushes in April. It lays from 5 to 9 eggs which are hatched by the female for 17-18 days. Both parents feed the chicks that stay in the nest for 22-27 days. The young remain united to the adults until the autumn sometimes also throughout the following winter. Feeding varies from small insects to small mammals (mice, small birds and their eggs).

curated by Sauro Giannerini

Video: Magpie Nest Pica pica Κατσικορωνα, Καρακάξα - Cyprus