Fun Yellow-billed Magpie Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Oct 20, 2022 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Read these yellow-billed magpie facts about this omnivorous bird.

A yellow-billed magpie (Pica nuttalli) is a bird of open country in California's central valleys.

In contrast, its black-billed relative lives across Europe, Asia, and North Africa, in addition to western North America. This is where the magpies are found in the U.S., from Colorado to the south of Alaska, Central Oregon, to the north of California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Central Kansas.

The yellow-billed magpie lives solely in California in a locality concerning 500 mi (805 km) from north to south and fewer than 150 mi (241 km) wide.

Inside this elaborate region, the yellow-billed bird nest can be found in colonies and groves of tall trees. There are three types of calls: harsh, raspy chatter, and ascending calls.

Corvidae is a cosmopolitan family of Oscar passerine birds containing crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, treepies, choughs, and nutcrackers. They have bold colors and are most visible in flight.

Let's look at these interesting facts; if you like these, do read our Australian magpie and black-billed magpie facts.

Yellow-Billed Magpie Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a yellow-billed magpie?

The yellow-billed magpie (Pica nutalli) is a massive bird within the crow family that's restricted to the U.S. state of California.

What class of animal does a yellow-billed magpie belong to?

These yellow-billed magpies (Pica nutalli) belong to the class Aves.

How many yellow-billed magpies are there in the world?

There are about 130 species of yellow-billed birds in the world. Partners in Flight estimates a population of 110,000 globally.

Where does a yellow-billed magpie live?

The yellow beaked creatures are found only in California, within the state's central valley, and North America in stream groves, scattered oak woodlands, ranches, and farms.

What is a yellow-billed magpie habitat?

The yellow beaked nesting bird is found in habitats near stream groves, scattered oaks, central valley, ranches, farms, nests. Most birds varied in open oak grassland, oak woodlands, and wherever riverside groves of oak, cottonwoods, and sycamores approach open countries like pastures or farmland. They are found mostly in suburban habitats, particularly on the fringes of agricultural areas.

Who does yellow-billed magpie live with?

These magpies live with their family in a social setting. They live in groups.

How long does a yellow-billed magpie live?

The yellow-billed magpie (Pica nuttalli) is said to have a lifespan of 7-10 years.

How do they reproduce?

The yellow-billed magpie prefers to nest in the groves of tall trees on rivers, on tall trees, valleys, and close to open areas during the breeding season, although they need to nest in vacant heaps in some cities and alternative weedy places. A nesting combination of birds builds a dome-shaped nest with sticks and dust on a high branch.

Nests could be 46 ft (14 m) above the ground and are generally engineered way out on long branches to forestall predators from reaching them. They nest in little colonies or often alone.

Even while nesting near other birds, they'll exhibit some territorial behavior. These birds are permanent residents and don't typically wander way outside of their breeding vary.

A male can exhibit mate-guarding, preventing the female from sexual activity with alternative males till she lays the primary eggs. They feed in flocks. The clutch contains five to seven eggs that are incubated by the feminine for 16-18 days. Both parents feed the nestlings a diet of large insects till fledging happens in 30 days.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the yellow-billed magpie is Vulnerable, and their population has drastically declined over the years. These birds have disappeared from some former areas of prevalence due to their restricted, varied, and specialized environmental needs. Global climate change might cause a significant threat.

Yellow-Billed Magpie Fun Facts

What do yellow-billed magpies look like?

These birds have a black head and chest, white shoulders and belly, iridescent blue-green wings, blue-green feathers, and long tapered black tails. However, its bill is bright yellow, black and white plumage with glossy skin behind eyes is additionally yellow, although not perpetually clearly visible.

It has a long tail. Males are slightly larger than females. Their bold colors are most visible in flight.

Yellow-billed magpie closely resembles black-billed magpies.

How cute are they?

They are really cute birds. Their physical appearance makes them look cute.

How do they communicate?

These birds are very vocal. There are three types of calls which is harsh, raspy chatter, and ascending calls.

How big is a yellow-billed magpie?

These limited range birds are 17-25 in (43-63 cm) long. The weight is 5-6 oz (150-170 g), and their wingspan is 23-25 in (58-63 cm). They are about three times bigger than a sparrow.

How fast can a yellow-billed magpie fly?

They do not fly fast. However, their exact speed is unknown.

How much does a yellow-billed magpie weigh?

These birds weigh 5-6 oz (150-170 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-specific names given to the adult male and adult female of the species.

What would you call a baby yellow-billed magpie?

They are known as magpie chicks.

What do they eat?

Yellow-billed magpies have an omnivorous food diet. Their diet varies with season. These birds feed heavily on food like acorns in fall and winter, cracking them open by pounding with their bill, while they eat carrion in winter.

These birds eat several grasshoppers in late summer. They search on the ground and use their bill to turn over garbage, wood chips, etc., to search for food.

Magpies steal food from one another and other animals. They also generally store food (such as acorns) in shallow holes in the ground, tree crevices, etc. They also eat and kill frogs, snakes, lizards, mice, bats, and rabbits.

Are they dangerous?

They do not cause any harm to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, they can make good pets because they are social and smart birds. Magpies have the ability to mimic human speech, work in a group, play games, and make and use tools. However, one must never take a wild magpie as a pet.

Their population is under the conservation status of Vulnerable. If you're wondering where you can get a yellow-billed magpie, the answer is, don't! These birds are Vulnerable, and the last thing that they need is to be adopted.

Did you know...

The migration in these yellow-billed birds rarely occurs. These birds rarely indulge in migration away from breeding areas, perhaps most often in winter.

Both the female and male feed the young ones. The parents might still feed their young ones for many weeks when they leave the nest.

These birds are closely related to the black-billed magpie.

The yellow-billed magpie (Pica nuttalli) nesting birds feed in flocks. They eat food like acorns, fruits, nuts, and insects.

The yellow-billed magpie that has its nest on a tree is a long tail bird from North America. It has a limited range in terms of reproduction and raises only one brood each year.

These iridescent color long-tail birds are not spotted very often, and they have a very limited range.

There are three types of calls which is harsh, raspy chatter, and ascending calls.

In addition to western North America, the black-billed relative lives across Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The yellow-billed magpie lives solely in California and central California, and you can find this bird in these states.

Magpies are hated because of their habit of thievery, avidly collecting shiny objects to adorn their nests on oak trees. Also, spotting a single magpie means bad luck.

These birds that nest on a tree should always be bought in pairs as pets. Male birds shouldn't be kept together.

Yellow-billed magpies indulge in a funeral-like behavior for the death of a bird in the family.

Is yellow-billed magpie Endangered?

As per the North American Breeding Bird Survey data, yellow-billed magpie bird populations declined at 0.9% per year between 1968 and 2015, leading to a total decline of 76%. Partners in Flight includes the species on the Yellow Watch List for species.

Throughout the peak of the West Nile virus epidemic, within the early 2000s, scientists estimate that yellow-billed magpies lost 0.5% of their population. The West Nile virus was indeed one of the deadliest threats. The yellow-billed magpies' species is not Endangered, but it is listed as Vulnerable.

Are magpies related to crows?

Yes, magpies are related to crows. Corvidae is a cosmopolitan family of Oscar passerine birds containing crows, jays, magpies, treepies, choughs, and nutcrackers. They're referred to as corvids. Over 130 species are delineated. Migration in the winter is a rare occurrence for both.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our military macaw facts and Java sparrow facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Yellow-billed magpie coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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