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A magpie is a beautiful and bright bird, its black and white shiny feathers cannot be confused with the color of the plumage, other members of the bird family. This is a clever, cunning and courageous bird, its image is often used in fairy tales, proverbs and sayings. In the little poem that parents read to their children, the main character is forty.
Forty belongs to the family of corvidae (raven) birds. The most famous representatives are jays, sandpipers and crows. The total number of the family includes more than 120 species of birds.
Forty-two is a bit smaller than the common crow. It has a beautiful plumage and a long tail. The main color of the feathers is represented by a black velvet shade with a characteristic purple tint and metallic luster. The belly and shoulders are colored bright white. Due to this contrast, the magpie looks very impressive and easy to remember.
The bird has a streamlined body, round eyes and a straight beak with a slight bend. Thin paws and a long tail add grace to the look of magpies. The shape of the tail may be different. In some birds it may expand from the base to the tip, in others it has a peculiar eddy on the sides.
It is difficult to determine the gender of an individual by its appearance. The color of feathers and the size of the bird are the same for the male and female. The average weight of an individual is 215 g, while males may be slightly heavier than females. The length of the bird along with the tail is 50 cm, and the wingspan reaches 90 cm.
During the year, the brightness of the plumage may vary. When spring comes, the feathers begin to turn pale, and in early June they become quite expressionless. The molt period in juveniles begins in June. Adult birds can molt not only in July, but also in August. To determine the age of magpies, you need to pay attention to its tail and color of feathers. In young birds, the tail is shorter and dim, and the white feathers have a gray tint.
Magpies live in many parts of the world. This bird can be found in European countries, the Far East and Asia. In Japan, forty lives on the island of Kyushu, where it is protected as a natural monument. In Africa, these birds can be found in the coastal areas of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. In North America, forty lives in Alaska and Baja California. A small group of birds lives in Kamchatka.
A magpie species that has blue plumage resides in two different places on the globe. Some representatives of the blue magpie settled in the Far East, and others – in Spain and Portugal. For science, it still remains a mystery why one species of bird was divided by thousands of kilometers.
On the island of Taiwan in the Pacific Ocean is inhabited by an incredibly beautiful bird, which is called the thick-billed azure forty. She prefers to live in the mountains at an altitude of up to 1,200 m. The inhabitants of Taiwan consider the bird a symbol of the island and try to preserve its population.
Migratory forty lives in Scandinavia, the rest of the species are sedentary. They are perfectly adapted for life in adverse, winter conditions. Magpies prefer to settle next to people where there is an opportunity to easily get their own food. Shingled nests can be found in gardens and parks. In the wild, they are found in deep forests and tropical jungles.
Magpies, like ravens, are clever and quick-witted. This is a cautious bird, which with its voice is able to notify all forest inhabitants of the approaching danger. Therefore, no wonder there is a saying "brought forty on the tail." The magpies, using loud chatter, constantly talk with their relatives, and some birds are able to imitate the sounds of other animals.
Unlike the crows, the magpie is a more agile and agile bird. Often she is interested in brilliant objects, but she does not specifically hunt them. If she steals her favorite thing, she will hide it in her nest.
The magpie is well developed intellectual abilities. This is the only bird in the world that recognizes itself in the mirror. For example, if a mirror is installed in front of a parrot, then it will perceive its reflection as another parrot.
For food forty uses any food. Since the bird belongs to the family of corvids, it eats not only animals and plants, but also carrion. Therefore, they like to accompany the larger predators to enjoy the remnants of prey.
The bird loves to visit other people's nests; it eats eggs with pleasure and drags chicks away. In this case, forty tries to be careful, as small birds are able to defend themselves. They often gather in flocks to disgrace the destroyer nests in disgrace.
Moving on the ground, magpie hunts small rodents and lizards. Its diet is supplemented by snails, beetles and insect larvae. The city bird is not afraid of people and quietly steals food from them. If necessary, her courage passes all boundaries, and forty is able to steal food from under the dog's nose.
In African countries, magpies love to look for food in pastures where buffaloes graze. There they not only catch insects, but also collect parasites that hide in the woolen cover on the backs of animals. Thus, doing a buffalo service, they find their food.
In the first year the birds are looking for a mate. Throughout life magpies remain faithful to each other. They can settle alone or create a colony of several pairs. The nests of these birds are particularly accurate. In contrast to the crow's nest, the house of the magpie is folded into a ball, into which one can get through the side entrance. For the construction of the nest, the birds use small branches. The litter for chicks is feathers, wool and soft grass.
A cunning couple builds several houses at once, and only one will be used to raise offspring. The remaining nests are needed by the magpies as a spare dwelling. Moving through different houses, they mislead predators and thus protect the main nest. In nature, the magpie there are many enemies. Their nests are attacked by martens. Adults are prey for hawks, owls and other larger birds.
On average, the female lays about 5 eggs and incubates them for 3 weeks. Chicks are born naked and blind. The progeny are raised by both parents. They take turns to fly to the nest and feed the chicks. Mature babies come out of the nest and live on the branches, at this time the parents continue to feed them. After the chicks are getting stronger and can fly independently, they go in search of food with their parents.
In the countries of East Asia, the magpie was called the herald of happiness, and Indian tribes considered the bird to be the spirit of the forest. In contrast to these peoples, the Europeans were negative about the magpie. A rattle of magpies notified the inhabitants of the forest of the appearance of man, and thus she broke the hunt. During sowing work on arable land, the bird pecked at the grain and caused damage to the crop. In addition, the magpie is considered a pest for spoiling the nests of songbirds.
But forty is not only a pest. It destroys harmful insects, small rodents and snails that pose a danger to the development of agriculture. Forty friendly man. It can be easily tamed, but as a fowl it is usually not kept.
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