Magpie (Pica pica)
Magpies are large, loud and very easily seen. These black and white long-tailed birds have been moving in to cities since the 1940s. Some people think that it’s bad luck to see a magpie on its own as an old rhyme says : ‘one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy….’ The Newcastle United football team are called The Magpies with their black and white striped kit.
The nest is a scruffy looking dome of big twigs but it’s really cosy inside and lined with grass and moss. A pair often nest in the trees next to the bird-watching platform. They have a loud ‘cha-ha-ha-ha-ha-hack' call and live on meaty scraps, often steal eggs and even baby birds. A flock of magpies is sometimes called a ‘mischief’.