The Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica) is a common bird across Eurasia (Europe and Asia). It is related to the crow. It is a corvid.
The Bactrian Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica bactriana) is a sub-species that ranges from east Siberia to the Caucasus, Iraq, Iran, Central Asia and Pakistan. The photographed birds are from Georgia in the Caucasus region.
The Bactrian Eurasian Magpie has a black and metallic iridescent green head, neck, and chest. Its belly and shoulder feathers are white. Its wings are black with green and purple. Its tail is long and black, and its legs and beak are black. Its eyes are dark-brown.
It grows to 46 centimetres (18 inches) in length. Its wingspan is 62 centimetres (24 inches). Its tail is about 28 centimetres (11 inches) long.
The Bactrian Eurasian Magpie is one of the most intelligent birds in the world. Zoologists say that its nidopallium (part of a bird’s brain) is about the same size as the brain of chimpanzees, orangutans, and humans.
It prefers open countryside with scattered trees close to cities. It is omnivorous, feeding on young birds, bird eggs, small mammals, insects, seeds, and vegetation.
The Bactrian Eurasian Magpie is monogamous and the pair mates for life. They make a large nest of sticks in tall trees. The female lays 5-6 pale blue-green eggs with olive-brown spots. The female sits on the eggs for about 22 days before they hatch. The male feeds the female while she is sitting on the eggs.
The chicks gain all of their feathers at around 27 days after hatching. The parents continue to feed the chicks for several more weeks before they become independent.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM