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Maghreb Magpie - BirdForum Opus

Maghreb Magpie
Photo © by kittywake
Agadir, Morocco, December 2017
Pica mauritanica

Formerly included in Eurasian Magpie


Length 46–50 cm (18-19¾ in)

  • Black head, neck, breast and back
  • Prominent white side patches and belly
  • Wings and tail, whilst looking black in certain lights, are actually blue-green and purple
  • Very long tail, diamond-shaped when spread out

Similar to Eurasian Magpie but has a patch of blue bare skin behind the eye. Sexes are similar. Juveniles are duller than adults.


North-eastern Mauritania to Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia


This species was formerly considered conspecific with Eurasian Magpie P. pica.


This is a montypic species[1].


Farmland and open country. Also town gardens and parks.


Walks and will hop sideways.


Quick, with deep, fast, even wing beats. Short glides.


Omnivorous. Feeds mainly on invertebrates, small mammals, lizards, frogs, bird eggs, nestlings and carrion. Often caches food.


Builds a domed nest in tall trees, or hedgerows which often contains shiny objects


Harsh "chack, chack, chack".


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F & D Donsker (Eds). 2018. IOC World Bird List (v8.2). doi : 10.14344/IOC.ML.8.2. Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
  4. Birdwatchers Pocket Guide ISBN 1-85732-804-3
  5. Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
  6. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
  7. Madge, S., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/60753 on 17 August 2018).
  8. Song, G., Zhang, R., Alström, P., Irestedt, M., Cai, T., Qu, Y., Ericson, P.G.P., Fjeldså, J. & Lei, F. (2018) Complete taxon sampling of the avian genus Pica (magpies) reveals ancient relictual populations and synchronous Late-Pleistocene demographic expansion across the Northern Hemisphere. J. Avian Biol.49(2): https://doi.org/10.1111/jav.01612.

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