The Magpie

Kennedy’s Wild Bird Food guide to the magpie bird

Magpie bird information

The common magpie is distinguishable by its black and white appearance, with iridescent blue feathers adorning the tips of its wings. Both male and female magpies have similar physical characteristics, so they can be difficult to tell apart just from looking at them.  

magpie bird

Magpies are known for their intelligence and they have previously been put to the test with the ‘mirror test’, which tries to determine if an animal can recognise their own reflection in a mirror, the magpie is the only non-mammal to pass the test! These birds are also famed for their attraction to shiny and glittering objects, however, research has suggested that this is purely an observation made by humans, rather than fact. Magpies can be attracted to shiny objects, but it’s not something exclusive to their breed and has, in fact, been linked to males trying to ‘impress’ females during mating season!  

Where do magpies nest?

Magpies can be found across the UK, and particularly in Scotland. You will often find magpies building their nests high up in tall trees. They can also be found around farmland and moors, but they have also been known to venture into more urban areas looking for food. You can take a look at where our Kennedy Wild Bird Food bird watchers have spotted magpies and log your own sightings over on our BirdSpotter map!

spot a magpie

What is the magpie bird call?

The magpie has one of the most distinctive calls of our UK birds. Their call is loud and sounds more like a cackle than a chirp. A magpie is not a song bird, so its call sounds harsh and cuts through all other bird calls!

What do magpies eat?

Magpies eat a mix of small invertebrates, berries and grains depending on the time of year. During the winter, magpies prefer the in-season berries that can be found on bushes and trees, however, in the summer they enjoy small insects such as worms, beetles and flies.

Our dried mealworms for birds are perfect for feeding magpies in the warmer seasons, but our worm mix is also a great option for offering the ultimate nutrition for your garden birds.

With any of our seed or bird food mixes, it’s important to make sure you provide a good water supply for your visiting!