Yellow-billed Magpie

Pica nuttalli




Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Olive marked with brown or olive

Number of Eggs:

5 - 8

Incubation Days:

16 - 18

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

40 - 60 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Interior mud bowl surrounded by sticks with two entrances., Lined with plant stems, roots, and hair.





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. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has dark bill and lacks eye spot.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Yellow-billed Magpie: Five to eight olive eggs, marked with brown or olive, are laid in a large, domed stick nest. Nest is often built in a tree overgrown with mistletoe and is difficult to detect. Incubation ranges from 16 to 18 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Yellow-billed Magpie: Diet consists of insects, carrion, fruits, berries, and acorns; also known to steal nestlings in order to feed its own young. Usually forages by walking, running, or hopping on the ground.

Readily Eats

Cracked Corn, Suet, Sunflower Seed


Yellow-billed Magpie: Call is an ascending whine. Also cries "kwah-kwah-kwah."

Similar Species

Yellow-billed Magpie: Black-billed Magpie is larger and has black bill and no bare yellow facial patches.

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.
The upper front part of a bird.
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.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X