Budgie parakeets > Talking birds > Magpie


This bird enjoys the reputa­tion of being the sauciest, most inquisitive and most thievish of the feathered tribe. He never seems to display so much vivacity as when en­gaged in a robbery, and appears to appreciate the fact that he is "doing something smart".

Magpies are found in various parts of the world; the American magpie being a native of the north­western states. He is a handsome bird with a long, slim body and long tail. He is variegated black and white with a wedge-shaped tail that shines with purple reflection at its extremity merging into steel blue. When left at large his feathers seem to reflect also the green tints of the foliage, giving a dazzle and splendor to the plu­mage.

It is the most easily tamed of all birds of this class, but the teaching should always begin when the bird is quite young. He will then pick up words and short sentences very easily, having a somewhat shrill voice and imitating the sound of animals and instruments as well as the human voice.

When at large this bird feeds on insects, worms, small animals, and various kinds of roots and fruit.

When kept caged he relishes a great variety of food, scraps of meat, bread, vegetables, etc., and the regular mocking bird food may be fed as a standard article of diet. If given more food than he desires to eat at once, he will usu­ally hide it away for future use.

These birds are also native of England and various parts of Europe. Magpies are subject to very few dis­eases and will usually live caged fifteen to twenty years. They are a very sociable bird and like to make friends with the family dog and cat peaceably if possible, but should these animals prove unfriendly, they do not hesitate to plague them in various ways and fight them into sub­mission. They are quite mischievous.

Some­times when the cat is taking a quiet nap, her slumbers are interrupted by the Magpie pulling her tail in an annoying manner, but he is never detected, because after committing the act and before the cat can turn around, the assailant is quietly preening his feathers or engaged in some other innocent act which allays the animal's sus­picions.