Sirhowy Hill Woodlands

Scientific name: Eurasian magpie


With its noisy chattering, black-and-white plumage and long tail, there is nothing else quite like the magpie in the UK. When seen close-up its black plumage takes on an altogether more colourful hue with a purplish-blue iridescent sheen to the wing feathers, and a green gloss to the tail. 


Magpies seem to be jacks of all trades – scavengers, predators and pest-destroyers, their challenging, almost arrogant attitude has won them few friends. Non-breeding birds will gather together in flocks.

Where can I find a Magpie?

Found across England, Wales and N Ireland, but more localised in Scotland, absent from the Highlands. Seen in a range of habitats from lowland farmland to upland moors.

Conservation Status

Magpies, like all other species, are protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985. This makes it illegal to intentionally or, in Scotland, recklessly take, injure or kill a magpie, or to take, damage or destroy an active nest or its contents. In Northern Ireland, it is illegal to disturb birds at an active nest.

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Scientific Name

Eurasian magpie


600,000 territories


Height: 44-46 cm (18'')

Weight: 200-250g


Moors, fields, parks, gardens, villages and towns. Mostly they favour areas with both trees and wide open spaces, and can often be found breeding around farmland.

Other Wildlife