Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Salutations to the Maligned Magpie; WildLondon

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Salutations to the Maligned Magpie; WildLondon

Article excerpt

LONDON'S streets can be challenging for wildlife, but some species are more than capable of rising to that challenge. Meet the magpie, now happily at home across the capital. This cocky corvid boasts a snowwhite belly and shoulders, which contrast vividly with its carbon black tail and wing feathers, which glimmer with flashes of iridescent blues and greens. The tail is as long as the body, the elongated feathers neatly folded when not fanned for flight.

Magpies thrive in the city because they are both intelligent and adaptable. They are omnivorous, with a wide diet that includes invertebrates, berries and roadkill. They will feed from bird tables and waste bins, raid nests in the spring, and can catch small mammals and birds. Their nestraiding abilities make them unpopular with some, but decades of research, examined by the British Trust for Ornithology, shows no evidence that magpies diminish songbird populations.

Magpies are vocal, sociable birds, chattering to each other in harsh, staccato chirps and calls. …

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