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animals science

Yellow-billed Magpie, Pica nuttalli

Sacramento Zoo

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Fast Facts

Relatives Magpies jays are part of the Corvid family of birds, which also includes crows, ravens, and magpies. Corvids are known to be relatively intelligent: some researchers have suggested their cognitive abilities are on par with apes.
Breeding Magpies jays, like other corvids, stay with their parents a long time after hatching.
Location Yellow-billed Magpie can be found primarily in Central California.
Physical Characteristics The Yellow-billed Magpie is distinct from other magpies because of its yellow bill and yellow eye streak.
Diet Yellow-billed Magpies eat mainly insects, but also carrion, acorns and fruit.
Behavior As part of the songbird order, magpies are vocal and perch in trees. Yellow-billed Magpies are very social, and are often observed flying and roosting in large groups. The Yellow-billed Magpie has a distinctive call which sometimes sounds like “What?”.
Other Notes Between 2004 and 2006 it is estimated that 50% of all Yellow-billed Magpies died of West Nile Virus.

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