As a common bird in China, the magpie is known for its adaptability and intelligence.
With its distinctive black and white plumage, fan-shaped tail, and a maximum weight of 266g, it is a highly agile bird. While humans view magpies favorably, animals consider them bullies of the bird world.
The magpie has mostly black and white feathers on its body, which looks clean and plain.
When it opens its wings it will again be seen with transitional colors such as purple and blue in parts of the wings, which are also beautiful. Like most birds, they are small in size, usually about 50cm in length, and prefer to live in groups.
Magpies are omnivores, consuming insects, birds, fruits, tree bark, plant roots, chicks, ducklings, and crops. They are known to be grumpy but are not worried about food or drink.
Magpies display rogue behavior, snatching food from other animals, including the dominant eagle in the air. They are even bold enough to steal food from human hands, demonstrating their courage.
In the mirror test, a method used by zoologists to test the IQ of animals, magpies have shown remarkable intelligence.
Along with dolphins, chimpanzees, and crows, magpies have passed the test with flying colors, while cats and dogs have not.
Among crows, magpies rank fourth in intelligence, after jays, bald-nosed crows, and star crows, according to a 2005 Journal of the National Academy of Sciences argument on bird IQ. Some even believe that magpies have evolved into a new intelligent species.
Gisela Kaplan, an Emeritus Professor of Animal Behavior at the University of England, has studied magpies extensively.
She has noted that magpies have a high IQ and excellent memory and cognitive abilities that can be passed down through generations. Kaplan had an encounter with a magpie that demonstrated its intelligence.
The bird saw her tapping on a keyboard and, after she left, ran to the keyboard and pecked at it with its beak while looking up at the screen.
Magpies are adept at solving the problem of food scarcity in winter by storing food in suitable places during the autumn when food is abundant. They are able to accurately locate and retrieve buried food even in snowy weather.
Magpies are highly selective about where they build their homes. Scholars who have studied them for decades have found that magpies prefer to build their nests in relatively high locations, and they screen out tall trees in the area to find a suitable location.
They also observe whether two-thirds of the trees in the area are high enough to support their nests. They will not choose a tree if it is not tall enough, even if it has two-thirds of the required height.
They will continue to look for trees with more than three branches until they find a suitable location. While magpie nests may not be aesthetically pleasing, they are able to withstand even level 10 wind and snow.
Magpies are fascinating birds that display remarkable intelligence and adaptability. Their behavior, memory, and cognitive abilities are a testament to their intelligence.
While they may be viewed as bullies in the bird world, they are highly selective about where they build their homes and are able to solve the problem of food scarcity in winter. Magpies are truly remarkable birds that continue to fascinate researchers and bird enthusiasts alike.