Magpies are black and white with a long tail. They are in the same family as the crow. The magpie has a white chest and live on insects and berries. They sometimes will eat snails and small frogs. Magpies have been known to kill small rodent type pets such as baby mice or guinea pigs.
Magpies belong to the Corvidae family which is the same family as the crow which also includes the Eurasian magpie. This magpie is one of the few known animals in the world that is able to recognise itself in the mirror test.
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Magpies are generally found near livestock where they are able to feed on dung and carrion insects. They will also forage for insects and ticks on the back of livestock and domestic animals.
The most notorious magpie behaviour is the picking open wounds and scabs open on the back of livestock. They will often pick the open wound until the wound is opened more which eventually may cause the wound to become infected and in some cases will even kill the animal. Magpies can sometimes peck out the eyes of livestock that is sick or new-born.
Magpies will also steal from birds nests either eggs or hatchlings. This can affect bird populations especially in areas where the lack of bird habitat makes it difficult for the local bird population to recover. Magpies can are very destructive when it comes to poultry especially when the magpie parents are gathering food for the nesting season.
Magpies can congregate in family groups and roost in loose colonies.
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