Yellow-billed Magpie

Pica nuttalli

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Code 4

YBMA

Code 6

PIANUT

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Yellow-billed Magpie has a limited range restricted to central California, and occurs in oak savannas, as well as orchards, farmlands, and some urban areas. The global breeding population of this species is estimated to be around 90,000 individual birds. Large declines were caused by the West Nile virus until 2008, and it is probably also declining because of habitat destruction. These threats have resulted in an IUCN conservation rating of Near Threatened.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Yellow-billed Magpie: Large jay with black hood, back and breast, featherless, pale yellow spot behind eye, and white belly. Bill is yellow. Upperwings are iridescent blue-green with large white shoulder patches. Tail is iridescent green-black, very long, and wedge-shaped. Legs and feet are black.

 

Range and Habitat

Yellow-billed Magpie: This species has a very limited range. It is only found in California's Central Valley and the adjacent foothills, where it is a resident breeder. Its range extends across western central California. Its preferred habitats include oak savannas, oak woods, riverside growth, ranches, and suburbs.

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Yellow-billed Magpie SONGS AND CALLS

Yellow-billed Magpie A1

"Wock-wock-wock" calls and chatter calls.

Yellow-billed Magpie A2

Series of harsh calls.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"kwah-kwah-kwah"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • In one type of display, neighboring birds will walk side-by-side along the boundary of their two territories often with tails held upright.
  • It is believed that these birds have declined significantly in population since the arrival of West Nile virus in California in 2004.
  • The ancestors of the Yellow-billed Magpie likely became isolated in California very soon after they colonized North America some 3 to 4 millions years ago. This was due to ice ages and the uplift of the Sierra Nevada.
  • A group of magpies has many collective nouns, including a "charm", 'gulp", "mischief", "tittering", and "tribe" of magpies.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Santiago Cornejo

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
ShoulderX
The short feathers overlying the median secondary coverts on the top of the wing. They are located near the back and can be seen as the “first row” of feathers on the birds wing. They are also called marginal coverts and lesser secondary coverts.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X