Yellow-billed Magpie

The yellow-billed magpie (Pica nuttalli), also known as the California magpie, is a large bird in the crow family that is restricted to the U.S. state of California. It inhabits the Central Valley and the adjacent chaparral foothills and mountains.

The yellow-billed magpie prefers groves of tall trees along rivers and near open areas, though in some cities they have begun to nest in vacant lots and other weedy places. A pair of birds builds a dome-shaped nest with sticks and mud on a high branch. They nest in small colonies, or occasionally alone.

These omnivorous birds forage on the ground, mainly eating insects, especially grasshoppers, but also carrion, acorns and fruit in fall and winter. They are attracted to recently butchered carcasses on farms and ranches. They pick through garbage at landfills and dumping sites, and sometimes hunt rodents.

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